September 14, 2021
Māori Language Moment
We’re just past this year’s Māori language moment, but not to worry – you can keep using and celebrating te reo Māori for the rest of the year as well.
At noon people across the country took time out to speak, listen to or read te reo Māori, play a game, sing a waiata or find some other way to celebrate the language.
Māori Language Commission chief executive Ngahiwi Apanui says a glitch in the booking system meant people who participated last year thought they didn’t need to register, but once that was fixed more than a million people signed on.
He says in the spirit of whakawhanaungatanga, Te Taura Whiri is trying to make as many people as possible part of the Māori language family.
“And you don’t do that by slamming doors in their faces. You open the door and invite them in and when they’re inside you make sure they are safe. Ultimately we would like to see the numbers change and what we are seeing is over-subscribed te reo Māori classes, a demand for te reo that has never been greater,” Mr Apanui says.
He says the challenge is to build the infrastructure to keep up with demand.