Māori Language Week 2015
This week celebrates the first day of Māori Language Week/Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori which takes place from July 27th – August 2nd. The theme for this year is “Whāngaihia ngā mātua” – helping parents to pass te reo on to their Tamariki. This year’s theme is a challenge encouraging our parents to keep the language alive and strong by actively passing our beautiful reo on to the next generation.
Between 1920 and 1960 there was a significant decline in the number of Māori language speakers, today there are only just over 20,000 speakers who can hold a conversation about everyday things in te reo Māori. Our language is central to our culture and identity, and is a taonga tuku iho that deserves to be cherished and fostered for future generations.
Once again we celebrated the weeklong event by cladding the iconic Pine Man with a jumbo sized ‘Te Wiki o Te Reo’ shirt. The Pine Man is one of the most recognised landmarks in our Tokoroa community and is situated on State High Way 1 near the Information Centre.
Our staff got the chance to get involved in daily competitions of mū tōrere over the week. Mū tōrere is a traditional Māori board game that originates from the east coast. It’s purported that in the mid-19th century Ngāti Hauā chief Wiremu Tamihana reputedly offered a game to Governor George Grey with the whole country going to the winner, but Grey declined.
Other activities included quiz games and charades. The week concluded with a bake off to create the best parāoa parai (fried bread) which included some with chocolate as well as mashed boil up to keep to the theme.