Porirua will come alive to the sights and sounds of Te Reo Māori on Monday, as the city says Haere Mai to the 2018 Māori Language Week, Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori.
Porirua City Council, Pātaka Art + Museum and Porirua Library are all marking the week-long language celebration, taking place between 10 and 16 September, with a host of events driven by this year’s theme Kia Kaha Te Reo Māori.
This year’s theme, Kia Kaha, takes its inspiration from the fact that we talk about languages as if they are people, with their own strength and energy. So when we say Kia Kaha te Reo Māori, we are saying “let‘s make the Māori language strong”.
Billboards, banners and posters carrying the phrases Kia Kaha Te Reo Māori – let’s make the Māori language strong, Nau Mai Haere Mai Ki Porirua – welcome to Porirua, and He Rawe Te Reo Māori – the Māori language is awesome, will be put up around the city.
Porirua Mayor Mike Tana, whose father was caned as a child for speaking Te Reo Māori in school, but whose children are now all fluent Māori speakers, welcomed the language celebration and encouraged the city to get behind the week of events.
“Porirua is embracing this celebration of one of New Zealand’s official languages, and supports the events taking place across the city and across Aotearoa.
“It’s important that we not only celebrate Te Reo Māori to keep the language strong in our communities, but connect our rangatahi to the country’s shared heritage so we can ensure the Māori language is not lost to future generations.
“Everyone can play a part to help strengthen the language – whether it’s using basic greetings, ordering a coffee or saying thank you in Te Reo. Get out and have a go and learning Māori just like our tamariki are.”
The traditional hei tiki symbol has been chosen as the emblem of this year’s language celebration as it represents the continuity from the language of our Māori ancestors to the language of today.
This year’s focus will have special significance on 14 September, Māori Language Day, when there will be a formal commemoration of 1972 presentation of the petition on the Māori language to Parliament.
Ngāti Toa will also be supporting our events and will be at the raising of the Tino Rangatiratanga flag outside the council administration building at 10am on Monday.
Here are some of the events taking place across Porirua during the week:
7 Sep 2018