It’s Māori Language Week in Aotearoa (New Zealand): “Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori 2020”

Did you know that New Zealand has three offical languages: English, New Zealand Sign Language, and Te Reo Māori?

Kia ora! (Hi!) and Haere Mai (Welcome),

Today is the first day of Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori 2020, so I’m doing a few short posts sharing some Maori words and phrases to share some New Zealand culture and to promote learning indigenous languages.

100% Pure New Zealand: Kia ora

With New Zealand being a bicultural as well as a trilingual country, the Maori language is increasingly used in everyday New Zealand English communication. For example Aotearoa (The Land of the Long White Cloud) is often used instead of saying “New Zealand”, “Kia ora” is a common greeting, and “Oranga Tamariki” is the common name and the web address used for The Ministry for Children. Many place names are in Te Reo Maori – Rotorua,

The online Learning Management System (Stream) at Massey University where I’m currently studying online has all the major headings and communication methods in bilingual Te Reo and English – with Te Reo often being in larger and/or bolder font than English.

Here’s a screenshot of the main page for my Fundamental Information Technologies course this winter term. (Yes, it’s winter in Aotearora. I start summer term in November.)

There are a variety of resources available on the Maori @ Massey website, including email greetings and pronunciation guides for Massey te reo names.

Here’s the Maori Alphabet Song that all (or almost all) Kiwi kids learn in school.

Even though it’s been decades since I’ve lived in Aotearoa I still know how to pronounce the vowels and the “wh” sound (‘f’ as in father), and. But the other diagraph “ng” trips me up sometimes.

School children learn Te Reo Māori through music and dance (kappa haka), and I still know several songs in Te Reo. I love this video from the New Zealand Hearald of grade school children singing Tutira Mai Nga Iwi as they wait for their turn to ride on the new cycle track (bicycle path) at their school.

Like all Kiwi kids, I learned poi dance, and I can still do some of the moves. In fact I got to spin fire poi in 2004 – but that’s a topic for another post.

Raukura Poi – National Secondary Kapa Haka Competition
Tutira Mai Nga Iwi has become the unofficial song for the All Blacks – NZ’s National Rugby team. Most people know the Haka dance that the All Blacks do at of every game. There’ll be a post soon about the Haka. (It’s not just a “war dance”.)

Finally, for everyone during these covid pandemic times…

Te Reo Maori - Stay Safe and Strong
The footer graphic on every email from Massey University during the pandemic.

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