Māori Language Week 2017

(NOTE: As the local authority for the main centre of the Waikato, Hamilton City Council uses Tainui's preferred spelling of double letters for the long vowel sounds of Te Reo words. However for Te Reo titles for entities or concepts from outside of the Waikato we retain the macron.) 

This year's theme Kia Ora Te Reo Māori 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 Maaori revitalisation between the Crown and Maaori under the new Māori Language Act 2016.

The new Māori Language Act 2016 sets up a new organisation, Te Mātāwai, to lead revitalisation among Maaori. The Māori Language Commission will concentrate on the public sector and wider New Zealand. Together we will ensure that the Maaori language has 'ora' - life, health and vitality - which is what we convey every time we say 'Kia Ora'.

The Oxford Dictionary of New Zealand English says the greeting became common in non-Maaori use in New Zealand from about the 1890s. This may have been triggered by a huge gas-illuminated sign set up in Auckland's Shortland Street in 1887 to celebrate Queen Victoria's jubilee. It stretched the whole length of the LD Nathan and Son warehouse frontage and said 'Kia Ora Kuini Wikitōria'. It also appeared in English company and farm names.

At this time of year more than a hundred years ago, the Premier, Richard Seddon sent out a Christmas card saying  'Kia ora and Christmas Greetings' and using other Maaori language and Maaori themes.

Te kaunihera o Kirikiriroa is the Maaori name for the Hamilton City Council, and is an integral part of the Council logo which, for Māori Language Week, has been reversed. 


Waikato Museum is hosting a free event which invites you to take part in their discovery trail where you walk the free galleries and look for new words in Te Reo Maaori. 

For more information visit the Waikato Museum website.

Storytime Puaawai
Wednesday 13 September, 10.30am at all libraries.
Check out the libraries website for more information.


Check out the Māori Language Commission website for some outstanding Māori Language Week resources which include the following gems, and some.​

Page reviewed: 11 Sep 2017 8:22am