Kia kaha te reo Māori 13 - 19 Mahuru/September 2021
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Posted September 13, 2021
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Māori Language Week is a government-sponsored initiative intended to encourage New Zealanders to promote the use of the Māori language, which, along with New Zealand Sign Language, is an official language of the New Zealand. Māori Language Week is part of a broader revival of the Māori language.
‘Kia kaha’ is well understood in New Zealand English with its meaning of ‘be strong’. So ‘Kia kaha te reo Māori’ means - ‘Let’s make the Māori language strong’.
From a petition to parliament arguing for te reo to be taught in schools in 1972 to marches and a Waitangi Tribunal claim calling for it to become an official language in its own land, the revitalisation of te reo is a movement that continues to this day.
Children can now attend kōhanga and schools where te reo is the language of instruction.
Normalising te reo comes in many shapes and forms from hearing it on the radio and TV, reading it online and even just saying, “Kia ora” when we answer the phone.
In 2020 an annual Colmar Brunton poll found that 8 in 10 of those polled see te reo as part of New Zealand’s national identity.