Four major Palmerston North organisations have come together for the first time to celebrate Maori Language Week.
Massey University, UCOL, Te Wananga o Aotearoa and the Palmerston North City Council will work together to promote the week, which starts on Monday.
The Palmerston North City Council's principal Maori adviser, Todd Taiepa, said the initiative came after the educational institutions approached a Maori inter-agency group in the city.
UCOL's Maori student support officer Audrey Tamanaui-nunn said the week was about encouraging Maori and non-Maori to feel comfortable using te reo Maori.
"It's an opportunity to have a go, and not be afraid of the language."
An "Amazing Race" is scheduled to take place in The Square on Friday at 2pm next week.
Participants would follow instructions in te reo Maori to find their way through a "labyrinth" of activities in The Square, she said.
"This is just another way to celebrate [Maori Language Week] and get people to use te reo, to take out it out into the community and allow people to use it."
Mr Taiepa said: "When they proposed the idea, of the ‘Amazing Race' in particular, we just thought it was fantastic. This year the challenge from the educational institutions was ‘Why don't we all work together?' to actually do something that has more of a public face.
"It was also a chance for us to celebrate to Maori Language together, but also just have a lot of fun."
Massey University Manawatu campus's senior Maori adviser, Jacob Tapiata, said there would be a Maori language quiz.
"For probably more than a decade, there has been a whole range of Maori language initiatives, like Kohanga Reo preschool, kura kaupapa primary school. Now they're starting to bear obvious fruit, like teams in the national kapa haka competition up in Whangarei. So you see a range of initiatives here that show the Maori Language community is particularly proactive."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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