Kua tata oti te wiki o te reo MÄori, he mÄ«haro hoki te kite atu i te maha o ngÄ mahi whakanui i te reo MÄori puta noa i te motu!
MÄori language week is drawing to a close and it was fantastic to see the celebration of te reo MÄori and MÄori culture through a wide range of events around the country. It was also great to hear stories of people learning and speaking MÄori or doing something as simple as improving their pronunciation of the many MÄori place names of Aotearoa.
MÄori Language Week is about raising awareness. While there is reason to still be concerned about the long-term future of the language, it is still spoken and sung by many: 130,000 have conversational fluency, 300,000 are learning at school, and 10,000 in tertiary education.
It is hugely important to embrace te reo MÄori and our MÄori heritage in our communities and it is great to see our agencies celebrate Te Wiki o te Reo MÄori. Te reo and tikanga are absolutely central to MÄori New Zealanders. Celebrating MÄori culture and using te reo MÄori is all part of the wairua manaaki - the spirit of service.
A number of departments got involved in this week's programme through a series of public events in the capital - including a parade, short films, guest speakers, hÄngi lunches, and a MÄori aerobics session on Parliament's back lawn.
Congratulations to all the departments and public servants right around Aotearoa who took part. Kia ora to Te Taura Whiri i te Reo MÄori and the other MÄori language agencies - TPK, Internal Affairs, MÄori Television Service, Te MÄngai Paho, Ministry of Education and Culture and Heritage - not only on their involvement in the week's celebrations but on the progress being made towards Te Maihi Karauna - the Crown's MÄori Language Strategy. It's expected to be issued later in the year and will set the path ahead for revitalisation of New Zealand's own language. It will be implemented alongside Te Maihi MÄori, championed by the new independent statutory entity Te MÄtÄwai.
Kia kaha, kia toa, kia manawanui!