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Maori language revitalisation 'no longer a dream'

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Air New Zealand has won the Supreme Award at the annual Māori Language Awards held tonight in New Plymouth.

The airline won the business award and went on to be awarded the major Tohu Reo Māori - Huia Te Reo for its decade long programme of integrating te reo Māori and Māori values into their workplaces and interactions with customers.

Māori Language Commission Chair Wayne Ngata says Air New Zealand’s sustained efforts to increase their use of te reo impressed the judges: "Hearing ‘Kia ora’ and ‘Nau mai, haere mai ki Aotearoa’ on board and staff wearing the ‘waha tohu’ showing they can speak Māori are just two of the many ways Air New Zealand is taking te reo to new heights. Air New Zealand’s use of language planning to achieve results is an exemplar for other organisations".

A Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Dr Huirangi Waikerepuru. He has been a leader of the movement to revitalise te reo Māori since the 1970s, a long-time teacher of te reo Māori and is expert in the Taranaki dialect.

Dr Ngata says the Māori Language landscape has changed dramatically in the years since Dr Waikerepuru began his work.

"We have seen the generation born at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th pass away. We have seen the overwhelming enthusiasm of the Māori people to revitalise the language with initiatives like kōhanga reo, kura kaupapa and community language planning and action. And we have seen, slowly at first, but with increasing determination, the Crown enter into a positive partnership for revitalisation."

Dr Ngata says an expression of the partnership is the new Māori Language Act 2016, shepherded through Parliament by Hon Te Ururoa Flavell. "The new law for the first time recognises the complementary roles of the Crown and Māori in revitalisation," he says.

"2016 will be seen as a pivotal year in which revitalisation stopped being a dream, and became a plan."

Ngā Tohu Reo Māori 2016 - Ko Ngā Toa Māori Language Awards 2016 - Winners

- Te Toa Reo Māori - Tohu Oranga Angitu (Lifetime Achievement)

Sponsor: Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori

Dr Huirangi Waikerepuru

- Te Toa Reo Māori - Kāwanatanga (Central Government) 

Sponsor: Te Puni Kōkiri

Mana Tohu Mātauranga o Aotearoa |NZQA

- Te Toa Reo Māori - Pāpāhotanga (Broadcasting)

Sponsor: Te Māngai Pāho

Te Reo Irirangi o Aotearoa 


- Te Toa Reo Māori - Hapori (Community)

Sponsor: Te Reo o Taranaki

Te Karaehe Kaumātua o Tīrau

Tīrau Kaumātua Class

- Te Toa Reo Māori - Mātauranga (Auraki) (English medium education) 

Sponsor: Ministry of Education

Te Reo Tuatahi - Raewyn Harrison

- Te Toa Reo Māori - Pakihi (Business)

Sponsor: FJ Services

Ararau Rangi

Air New Zealand

- Te Toa Reo Māori - Rangatahi (Youth)

Sponsor: Vodafone

Aaron Koopu

- Te Toa Reo Māori - Pāpāho (Media)

Sponsor: Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori

Te Reo Irirangi o Aotearoa


- Te Toa Reo Māori - Rorohiko/Auaha ( Digital/Innovation)

Sponsor: Māori Television

Kiwa Digital Ltd

- Te Toa Reo Māori - Kaunihera ā-Rohe (Local Government) 

Sponsor: Te Puni Kōkiri

Te Kaunihera ā-Rohe o te Tonga o Waikato | South Waikato District Council

- Te Toa Reo Māori - Mātauranga (ā-Reo Māori) (Māori Medium Education)

Sponsor: Ministry of Education Te Tahūhū o Te Matauranga

Te Mihinga Komene

- Te Toa Reo Māori - Takitahi (Individual Achievement)

Sponsor: Te Reo o Taranaki

Manuel Springford

- Te Toa Reo Māori - Te Wiki o te Reo Māori (Māori Language Week)

Sponsor: Internal Affairs | Te Tari Taiwhenua

Whakaata Māori

Māori Television

- Te Toa Reo Māori - Te Tohu Kairangi (Special Commendation)

Sponsor: Te Taura Whiri i Te Reo Māori

Stacey Morrison

- Te Toa Reo Māori - Mahi Toi me te Whakangahau (Arts and Entertainment)

Sponsor: Te Matatini

Te Rōpū Māori o Pātea

Pātea Maori Club

- Te Tohu reo Māori - Huia te Reo (Supreme Award) 

Sponsor: Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori

Ararau Rangi

Air New Zealand

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