Massey gives wider voice to te reo
Massey University is extending Maori Language Week celebrations to a month.
It's just one of the ways Palmerston North institutions are supporting Maori Language Week with events and activities to get more people speaking te reo.
Maori services manager Sheeanda Field said there was a weekly language club at the Turitea campus called Tiwaha for people to get together every Wednesday in the student centre.
"People can come in and have a listen, have a chat, and we aren't saying to them if they should be doing it this way or that.
"We want them to sit and chat."
She said there were plenty of people who wanted to learn the language, but did not want to do formal learning.
Having smaller, casual events helped get people involved, she said.
"It's encouraging people to use te reo Maori anywhere, any way, any how."
Signs had also been changed in the library from English to Maori.
A race was held last week at the campus, with teams made up of people both new to and fluent in Maori, which involved people having to speak the language to make their way through challenges.
This was a warmup to a race that will happen on Friday, pitting people from Massey against staff and students from UCOL, Te Wananga o Aotearoa and Palmerston North City Council.
Youth Space support worker Chloe Naylor said she put up signs around the space to teach young people some Maori words.
Staff at the space were also looking at events around Maori culture, such as making poi and possibly cooking.
"It's just all little things, so we can get them to learn the words.
"It's really important for people to be learning the language of New Zealand, which is Maori."
Mana Tamariki school administrator Penny Poutu said the Maori immersion school was doing nothing new this week.
"This morning I heard on the breakfast radio the names being said in Maori and thought ‘oh right, it's Maori Language Week'," she said.
"We're just doing what we always do, because we speak Maori all the time."
Palmerston North City Council principal Maori adviser Todd Taiepa said the council would hand out fortune cookies, with proverbs on the inside.
"They're all about either te reo or cultural aspects. It's a nifty, positive idea."
Each day of Maori Language Week, there will be a Maori-themed quiz on the Manawatu Standard website. Head to manawatustandard.co.nz to test your knowledge.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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