Maori Language Week 2011

One of the challenges many indigenous languages face is getting people to use the vocabulary. So … every year since 1975 New Zealand has celebrated Maori Language Week, a time to recognize te reo Maori (the Maori language) and to integrate Maori phrases in everyday conversation.’

In 2011 the festivities take place July 4-10. The Maori Language Commission has chosen Manaakitanga (respect for hosts and kindness to guests) as the theme for this year’s language week. You might know that along with kaitiakitanga, manaakitanga is a cornerstone in the current New Zealand tourism strategy.

In fact, Māori Language Commission Chief Executive Glenis Philip-Barbara says the word has particular value connected to the upcoming Rugby World Cup. In the official announcement he encourages New Zealanders to “use Māori language to host our visitors from cities to rural towns, hotels to homes, all modes of public transport and on our streets. Everyone who has Māori language knowledge, great or small, is encouraged to use it as often as they can during this exciting time as New Zealand showcases itself on the world stage.”


NZ History Net

Korero – Ideas for Māori Language Week

Te Ahi Kaa – Radio New Zealand

In honor of this year’s Maori Language Week, I present three inspired Maori proverbs:

Ka mate kāinga tahi, ka ora kāinga rua.

Ahokoa he iti he pounamu.

Kia hora te marino, Kia whakapapa pounamu te moana, kia tere te Kārohirohi i mua i tōu huarahi.

You may remember that in January this blog was the first to announce Maori Language Week! That post remains one of the most popular according to the traffic stats.

Mind you, I am not fluent in Maori, but I have enough Maori friends who casually drop local words into the chat that I’ve become hooked on learning a bit. It’s also good to be able to share with local indigenous friends in Mexico how indigenous languages survive and thrive in other countries. The Maori in particular are great leaders. Mauri Ora!

This entry was posted in 2011, Announcements, indigenous, inspire, language, signage, Web 2.0 in Action and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Maori Language Week 2011

  1. Stacey Morrison says:

    Kia ora, nice blogging and insights thank you! Just a little typo, it should read “Ahakoa”…
    Nga mihi!

  2. ronmader says:

    Thank you, Stacey, I’ll make the change ASAP!

  3. Geoff Button says:

    Kia ora te whanau – hello and good health to you all (my broad family)
    Maori language week is now becoming more established in Aotearoa / New Zealand. Aotearoa means “the land of the long white cloud” which is what the Maori explorers saw when they first found the group of islands in the South Pacific.
    New Zealanders or Kiwi (a bird and not a fruit) which is a nickname for the people of this land, have managed to largely embrace the Maori language in the last 20 years and it is now used in everyday life. A couple of examples are:
    Mana – integrity and standing through actions of credibility (this is not a pure translation but it is often used in this context)
    kai: food or meal
    mahi: work
    hikoi – walk
    look at for more about te reo Maori (the Maori language)
    (p.s. my apologies for not noting the accents on the words as I have not worked out how to do this as yet on my keyboard and as a non Maori speaker, I hope I am roughly correct in my spellings and mean no disrespect to the language for my errors)

    Geoff Button
    Tutor (Kaiako) in Ecotourism
    Tai Poutini Polytechnic (te Wananga o te Tai Poutini)
    Greymouth / Mawhera
    Aotearoa / New Zealand

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