For most of the 20th century the New Zealand government discouraged, banned and made it socially unacceptable to openly speak te reo Māori.
That all changed in 1972 when Māori language champions calling for te reo to be taught in schools presented the Māori Language Petition to parliament. The petition carried the signatures of more than 30,000 New Zealanders.
That day – September 14, 1972 – became Māori Language Day, which eventually expanded to what we know as Māori Language Week. Their peaceful protest also led to the successful WAI11 Māori Language claim to the Waitangi Tribunal and the enactment of the Māori Language Act 1987. The Act recognised te reo as an official language of our country.
Today, 50 years on, te reo Māori is being embraced by more and more people, and Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori provides a great opportunity for everyone to use and speak more of the language.
For a number of years now, Hastings District Council has held a range of events and activities for the organisation to participate in the week, and we have shared local Māori history and other information and activities on our social media channels.
We will be doing this again this year, so keep your eye on the Hastings District Council Facebook page during the week – September 12 to 18.
Go to www.reomaori.co.nz for more information, ideas and resources to get involved.
31 August 2022
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