Kia ora tātou kātoa
e whakarauora ana i tēnei taonga o tātou,
arā, ko te reo Māori.
Kāore e mutu ngā mihi ki a koutou
ngā tamariki me ngā rangatahi –
ko koutou ngā pakeke, ngā kuia, ngā koroua o āpōpō.
Kei te kapu o ō koutou ringa, tēnei taonga.
Ahakoa iti, ākona, kōrerotia. Kia nui ake te ako, ka kōrero ai!
As with all languages, te reo Māori expresses the values and beliefs of a people. It conveys concepts and stories that cannot be readily translated.
This precious taonga is unique to Aotearoa New Zealand, so it’s exciting to know that in communities up and down the country, people are lining up for classes to learn te reo Māori.
It’s exciting to see Māori Language Week getting bigger and stronger, year by year.
I was honoured to be asked to be one of this year’s Ambassadors for Te Wiki o te Reo Maori – and very surprised.
Like many New Zealanders, I understand quite a few kupu, but am not a fluent speaker of te reo.
When I thought further, I realised that getting involved might encourage others to also get involved and learn more. It’s never too late.
Whatever our age, whatever our background, the message today is “learn a little, use a little; learn more, and use more”.
We can all play a part in revitalising te reo Maori. Even if we are not ourselves fluent speakers of te reo Māori, we can all:
choose to make te reo Māori welcome at school, at work and in our communities
encourage and support others to use and learn te reo Māori
welcome the Māori language into our daily lives, and, above all
choose – when we are speaking – to pronounce Māori words correctly.
Real change happens when each person, every day, makes those kind of choices.
I hope more New Zealanders will be able to join Paraone Gloyne and the Mahuru Māori movement – and take up the challenge to speak only te reo Māori, throughout the month of September.
It’s that kind of commitment that will make it possible for every week to be Māori Language Week in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Kia kaha te reo Māori!