24 September 2021
Te Wiki o te reo Māori
Tēnā koutou katoa. Ngā mihi nui kia koutou i roto i te rangaimārie o
Ihowa o ngā mano. He pānui tēnei e pā ana ki te wiki whakanui o te reo
Māori, kua hipa atu rā. Last week, Laidlaw College joined with the rest
of Aotearoa in celebrating Te Wiki o te reo Māori.
Our Māori team at Laidlaw work collaboratively to bless our community by inviting all students and staff to join us on the journey of learning and growing in te reo and Te Ao Māori. He waka eke noa! “We are all together in this waka of learning and speaking te reo Māori in Aotearoa so let’s do this together in Christ – in kotahitanga (in community with one another) – with one heart, one mind, one vision.
The celebration started in our joining together as a community online for the week of “Te Whakanui o te reo Māori.” Students and staff gathered for a time of prayer, reflection, waiata, learning, and encouragement. Our Pou Amorangi, Brad Haami, shared about the meaning of the longest place name in Aotearoa, “Te Taumata whakatangihanga koauau o Tamatea turi pukaka piki maunga pokai whenua pokai moana ki tana tahu” Try pronouncing this place name after you have read it! Kaiāwhina Tauira Sharon Pihema shared about Stan Walker and his song "He Kākano Āhau" and I as Kaiwhakaako reo Māori left those watching with a challenge to learn te reo Māori.
Our celebration continued in the Laidlaw College community throughout the week in fun and formal ways. These ways included: Facebook posts of a kupu (word) and whakatauki (proverb) of the day with a short description; community members performed waiata for the Māori Language Moment, online worship led by the Talo whānau, and daily Kahoot reo quizzes (with prizes) for students and staff. We welcomed the NZCMS Māori Evangelist with the Māori Anglican Church, Keri-Ann Hokianga amongst us to share how the Spirit is moving in Manukau and Mangere and her journey with te reo. We taught our Māori Theology, Tikanga-a-Tangata on the weekend with Dr Jay Matenga.
The celebration ended officially across the nation and at Laidlaw College on Sunday, however we advocate that te reo Māori is reason for celebration every day of the year. Every day is a celebration of the language that is indigenous to Aotearoa, deemed to be dead, dying and nearly extinct. It is the desire of Laidlaw College that our staff and students acquire a basic knowledge in Te Tiriti o Waitangi, Te Ao Māori and te reo Māori across the three Schools, Theology and Counselling with Education leading the way. One line from the song “He Kākano Āhau” sung by Stan Walker says, “Tōku reo tōku whakakai mārihi” meaning my language is my cherished possession. Te reo is a cherished possession because it is believed to be a taonga from Atua to Māori and to Aotearoa. I encourage the reader to take up the challenge of learning te reo Māori.
tonu ana ki tēnei karaipiture o te Paipera; Kei a tātou ia te hinengaro
o te Karaiti. Let us hold on to this scripture; We all have the mind of
Kaiwhakaako reo Māori - Māori Language Teacher
School of Social Practice, Education