Trust recognised for trying to revitalise language

Trust chairman Hemi Sundgren.
Trust chairman Hemi Sundgren.

A New Plymouth trust dedicated to revitalising Taranaki reo has won a top prize in the 2012 Maori Language Awards.

Te Taura Whiri, the Maori Language Commission, honoured the Te Reo o Taranaki Charitable Trust with the community award last weekend.

The group was one of 14 troughout the country being recognised for their dedication in bringing te reo back into the mainstream.

Te Reo o Taranaki chairman Hemi Sundgren said as the "thin edge of the wedge" they were working hard to bring Taranaki reo back to the province.

"The project we were recognised for was an exhibition we undertook, with support from Puke Ariki, to expose a lot more people to the nature of our unique language here in Taranaki," he said.

"We are now getting recognition, in a national sense, that what we are doing is contributing to rasing the awareness of our language and the need to continually expose people to it."

He said although they were small steps in the scheme of things, the project was hugely important.

The trust uses a four-tier strategy of awareness, application, acquisition and archive in helping to promote and develop Taranaki reo as a living language.

Last year the trust won the Te Tira Aumangea prize, which acknowledges a community group that made a sustained effort in the revitalisation of te reo.

Taranaki Daily News