Maori Language Week takes place this week, celebrated by Salient’s annual Maori edition – Te Ao Marama.
The theme of this year’s Maori Language Week is to promote and support tourism, with the catch phrase ‘Kia Ora’. The aim is to have the tourism sector, along with the wider community, involved with the sharing of simple Maori words that they can use in everyday life.
Ngai Tauira Tumuaki Maryjane Waru says Maori Language Week is “all about identity for Maori and identity as a New Zealander, and also to acknowledge the indigenous culture of New Zealand, and it’s a culture to be proud of, a language to be proud of, and one that needs to be supported along the way.”
Topics covered in this week’s issue, which has around 70% Maori content, include politics, education and academia, Maori scholarships and the development of Maori language and culture.
Since the establishment of Maori Language Week in 1975, steps have been taken to integrate Maori into mainstream New Zealand and 1987 saw Maori recognised as an official language. Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Maori (the Maori Language Commission) was set up under the Maori Language Act 1987 with the primary aim “to promote the use of Maori as a living language and as an ordinary means of communication.”
Maori Language Week takes place July 23-29.