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New Zealand hosts largest celebration of an endangered, indigenous language

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

More than 1.13 million people stopped to celebrate te reo Maori today as part of the Maori Language Moment, setting a new world record for the biggest celebration of an endangered language. The total is continuing to rise and organisers won’t be confirming final numbers for another week.

"That number is continuing to rise every minute as people continue to register and upload their moments: we had thousands do this in the first hour," said Maori Language Commission chief executive, Ngahiwi Apanui.

"People can still register and share their moments with us: as there are so many coming through it will take us a while to go through and upload them all."

"Everyone who has joined us will now be part of our ongoing Maori Language Movement."

This year’s level of engagement has eclipsed 2020 with more people engaging, sharing and celebrating te reo. Mr Apanui also reports the event was so popular the commission’s social media pages have been targeted by scammers: "We're asked Facebook to shut down these accounts and warn people to never give their credit card details out as we would never ask for these."

This year more individuals signed up than ever before: "We know that these people were joining independently of their workplace or any other organisation.

"Most people took part in their own events from Stewart Island to the far north, Taranaki to the Chatham Islands and many more overseas," said Mr Apanui.

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