Tōku reo tōku ohooho

My language my awakening

Today marks the end of te wiki o te reo Māori (Māori Language Week). This year is particularly special because it marks 50 years since the presentation of the Māori Language Petition to Parliament. Here at the Marae we have had many opportunities to participate in activities that encourage kaimahi to increase their reo Māori, including morning sessions with the aim of extending our current pepeha. During our monthly hui this week we had the opportunity to do a deep dive into our respective waka, this was really interesting and great to see our Marae kaimahi having the opportunity to share mātauranga with one another, during this time many kaimahi also took the opportunity to download a family tree app and as the morning progressed we were excited to discover less obvious whakapapa connections, some dating back to the 1600s. While this has been an awesome opportunity for us, we must also check our privilege, in that while we at the Marae are lucky to be working together with shared interests, shared whakapapa, within an organisation that recognises our uniqueness as Māori we must also be mindful to extend the support outside of our workplace to the whānau we work for and to our partner organisations who do not have the same level of support to engage in te ao Māori, because while it has been 50 years since the Māori Language Petition was delivered to Parliament we still have a long journey ahead of us until all Māori are able to comfortably sit in this space.