Council wins national Te Reo Maori Award
The South Waikato District Council's commitment to te reo Maori has been officially recognised with a national award.
The council has come away with the Kaunihera a-Rohe (Local Government) award at this year's Nga Tohu Reo Maori Awards (National Te Reo Maori Awards).
The council's chief executive Craig Hobbs said the council was absolutely thrilled with the result and incredibly proud.
"The council would like to acknowledge Raukawa Charitable Trust, for not only the nomination they put forward on our behalf but for the guidance they continue to provide us on any and all te reo matters," he said.
The council was nominated for its efforts towards strengthening the use of te reo Maori in the district over the past year. This included work such as the creation of bilingual signs, leisure facilities, Waiata group, and the work towards demarcating sites of cultural significance to mana whenua.
The South Waikato also came away with two more awards on the night which were presented to Te Karaehe Kaumatua o Tirau in the Hapori (Community), and Aaron Koopu in the Rangatahi (Youth) categories.
"We extend our congratulations to all of the night's winners, but especially to our local winners," mayor Jenny Shattock said.
"It's exciting to see the South Waikato involved in the revitalisation of te reo in so many different areas, and we are very proud to be a part of that."
Poihaere and Wiremu Barrett of Te Karaehe Kaumatua o Tirau were nominated in the Hapori category for their Tirau Kaumatua Classes. These classes have provided a space for people to come together and listen, speak and learn under the auspices of te reo and tikanga Maori.
Aaron Koopu was nominated in the Rangatahi category for the contributions he makes to the Wharekura. He is helping to shape the district's young men and women into positive role models for their marae, hapu, community and iwi.
The council is set to continue with its te reo work and is hoping to see the use of the language in the district go from strength to strength through more widespread use and promotion.