Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori takes on a special significance for Hastings District Council this year with the recent adoption of its Heretaunga Ararau Te Reo Māori Action Plan.
The action plan follows on from the launch of the council’s Heretaunga Ararau Te Reo Māori Policy at this time last year, and provides a framework for Hastings District Council to recognise the status of the language as a taonga of iwi Māori of Aotearoa New Zealand, and to support its revitalisation within the Hastings district, alongside the iwi, Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated and its Te Reo Māori strategy - Kahungunu kia eke!
Hastings mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said the policy would guide Council as it continued to celebrate te Reo Māori, along with the wider community.
“Te reo Māori is a special taonga that we must all help to nurture and grow – Heretaunga Ararau sets out a framework for us to ensure te reo is seen and heard throughout Council.
“Each and every one of us has a role to grow te reo Māori and this policy and action plan will ensure it will be protected for generations to come.”
The Action Plan and supporting policy has an ambitious goal for Hastings to be a te reo Māori city by 2040 and its implementation will be guided by a Memorandum of Understanding with Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated.
In the first three to five years the intention is to progress initiatives such as creating dual welcome signs for the city gateways, exploring adopting more te reo Māori place and space names around the district, installing pou whenua to recognise places of mana whenua settlement/significance, encouraging and supporting more community-based te reo Māori events, and incorporating cultural narratives and design that tell Māori stories into district development.
In terms of council operations, the goal is to incorporate te reo Māori in more documents and forms, as well as the design and build of council projects, including planning for growth and the District Plan.
Other aims are to introduce bi-lingual signage at council facilities, and to recognise and celebrate te reo Māori champions of all ages in the community.
Councillor Bayden Barber, who is also a Commissioner on Te Taura Whiri o te reo Māori - the Māori Language Commission, said as the official language of Aotearoa it was important to support its use.
“As a council this policy and action plan shows our commitment to the language and we encourage our Hastings community to also support te reo Māori.
“This can be as simple as trying out a few words, singing waiata, or researching your whakapapa – there’s lots of ways to use it and enjoy it in our everyday life – so as we celebrate Te Wiki o te reo Māori, give it a go.”
14 September 2020
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