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Going beyond the basics for Māori Language Week

Tertiary education provider Te Wānanga o Aotearoa won a Māori Language Award last year for its Mahuru Māori initiative, which encouraged te reo speakers to use only te reo for a month. It is running Mahuru Māori again this year with the goal to increase participation to over 2,000 people. 

“We want everyone on board – as many people as possible. It’s been shown through our research to be right-shifting from people who are passive to active but the improvement would be to boost the numbers participating,” says Te Wānanga o Aotearoa poutiaki Paraone Gloyne.

“It’s an empowering exercise for the person who does the challenge, it’s also empowering for the language [and] on a spiritual level, it feeds the mauri of our reo.”

Teachers can use traditional Māori hand games or string games, known as whai, to teach te reo, Paraone says. There are also Māori board games like Mutōrere, which is similar to Ludo.

Those schools that do not have knowledgeable reo teachers should connect with their local kura kaupapa “rather than looking at Google for the answers”, says Paraone.

There are also Facebook pages teachers can join, such as ‘Māori for Grownups’ which is administered by television host and reo expert Stacey Morrison.

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