Carterton District Council staff and councillors are supporting Māori Language week which is being celebrated throughout New Zealand from 11th-17th September.
The theme of Te Wiki o te Reo Māori is “Kia Ora te reo Māori” which was chosen to celebrate New Zealand’s indigenous greeting. The words “Kia Ora” are an exact description of the intent of the new partnerships for te reo Māori revitalisation between the Crown and the Māori under the new Māori Language Act 2016.
This is currently being reflected in the relationship between Carterton District Council and Hurunui o Rangi Marae.
“Establishing stronger relationships with our local iwi is important to enhance our cultural diversity and acknowledge our New Zealand history”, says Mayor John Booth. “Māori Language week provides a platform to celebrate what we are already doing, and what we can work towards.”
Chief Executive Jane Davis agrees with Mayor Booth. “ Te Wiki o te Reo Māori is the perfect opportunity to look at how we acknowledge Māori through our operations, and enables us to incorporate te reo into our daily practice.”
As a nod to this initiative, council will transform their communications during Māori Langauge week by integrating te reo into all of their council branding, website and social media.
However, it is not just the short term that council will be integrating te reo into their operations.
“Māori language week is the perfect opportunity to solidify our Māori protocols and establish a strong understanding of council and iwi relationships”, explains Ms Davis. “Māori and English are the official languages of New Zealand, therefore it is important that our council understands the importance of Māori in our organisation.”