July 28, 2021
Murihiku te reo Maori champion honoured
There’s a celebration in Murihiku today for a champion of Māori language education.
Āni Wainui was named on the Queen's Birthday Honours list as an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit.
She’s being invested today at Te Wharekura o Arowhenua, the Invercargill kura kaupapa she helped establish in the early 1990s.
Dr Cathy Dewes, tumuaki of Te Rūnanga Nui o ngā Kura Kaupapa Māori o Aotearoa, says the movement owed a great deal to Mrs Wainui.
She says establishing a kura kaupapa Māori was no mean feat, particularly in a region like Southland where there are fewer Māori who speak the language.
Mrs Wainui was the first itinerant teacher of Māori in Southland in the 1970s, encouraging primary schools to introduce the language.
She went on to teach at Cargill High School in Invercargill before setting up the kura at its first home on Murihiku Marae.
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