Tokoroa's Pine Man's words of wisdom - Arohatia te reo

PETRICE TARRANT
Last updated 13:26 23/07/2014
Tokoroa’s Pine Man
PETRICE TARRANT/Fairfax Media
DRESSED TO IMPRESS: Love the language - that is the message of Tokoroa’s Pine Man this Maori Language Week.

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The spirit of Maori Language Week is alive and kicking in the South Waikato - even Tokoroa's well-known Pine Man is dressed for the occasion.

Starting on Monday the nation once again entered into its annual celebration of the official language of te reo.

This year's theme, Te Kupu o te Wiki or Word of the Week , is designed to encourage schools, communities and organisations to introduce and adopt a new Maori word each week for 50 weeks.

Raukawa Charitable Trust cultural project co-ordinator Louis Armstrong said they had a hard think about how they could best get the message out there.

"We saw the All Blacks t-shirt and we though how can we get a message out there that is going to be seen by a lot of people."

It appears dressing up Tokoroa's giant Pine Man was the answer.

The message on the t-shirt, Arohatia te reo, is about having a passion or love for the language. The hope is that it will reach more than just the 6700 Maori who live in the South Waikato, he said.

"It's what we strive for here in our team. We feel it's not only a Maori thing but something that could help our whole community."

Not many towns have a giant wooden man to take advantage of, Armstrong said.

"I haven't seen that anywhere else in New Zealand."

The t-shirt was made by Tokoroa business Alterations and Designer Garments.

petrice.terrant@fairfaxmedia.co.nz

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- Waikato

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