Oodles* of ideas to celebrate Māori Language Week

Māori Language week is getting a bit like long weekends – we know they are coming, we really enjoy them, but what will we actually do?

You may already have a plan – if so, don’t read any more!

If not, read on – because ideas for Māori Language Week are endless. You can celebrate yourself, in your family, in your workplace or join an event like the big parades and similar events happening around the country.

Most of these ideas are about finding resources on line and using them by yourself or in a group.

In workplaces and other groups we suggest getting a few people together and browsing this list. Check out the ideas and the links and pick a few that you can use. Don’t try to do more than you can manage – but try to do what you can manage. And make it fun, and use activities to promote your own business, team or activity.

And remember – there are people from all sorts of backgrounds and all levels of ability needed to revitalise te reo Māori. It needs to be revitalised because lots of the Māori people have for one reason or another not acquired as much language as they would like. Just ask people if they’d like to take part in your activites – don’t begin by making assumptions about what people know or should know.

Māori language is not just about learning and using – it’s also about promoting the status of te reo Māori, about deeping criticial awareness of revitalisation and the the place of te reo in Aotearoa.

Simply finding out about what young people in your family are learning at school and encouraging them is one way of producing more speakers in the coming generation – even if you don’t ever learn much yourself.

Tēnā tirohia ēnei whakaaro whakatairanga - kōwhiria, mahia! | So check out these ideas - choose and use!

  1. See the launch of last year's Te Wiki o te Reo Māori by Her Exellency Dame Patsy Reddy.
  2. Use the Te Aka Māori Dictionary to check out some brief expert descriptions of words in Māori you may have heard about that are considered customary concepts. There are many other resources on these topics – but there is enough in the links to allow a good discussion. You can follow up with an expert or with more research.
  3. Find someone to teach you or your group basic pronunciation
  4. See what you know of 100 Māori words every New Zealander should know – and learn the others.
  5. Set out to learn a word a day for a year – see 365 Māori words
  6. Check our your Māori vocab by checking out the basic Māori word lists –these can give you 95 per cent plus of the words you are likley to hear in spoken Māori (it’s the other 5 per cent we all need to work on!)
  7. Use the signage list to put up signs or try these.
  8. Set some basic personal goals for language learning. Here’s how.
  9. Learn a mihi appropriate for your circumstances (iwi, work, family, school)
  10. Join a parade or other event 
  11. Like or respond to social media posts about te reo Māori.
  12. Surf online resources for inspiration
  13. Use online resources to work on te reo Māori with children
  14. Learn some basic greetings and phrases and some more and more!
  15. Learn a karakia more here
  16. Learn a waiata there are more here and here
  17. Find out about the meaning and pronunciation of local place names
  18. Order in a hāngi and enjoy it after a mihimihi and a waiata and a karakia kai
  19. Read some online Māori language from the past
  20. Listen and watch Māori language
  21. Read the Bible in Māori
  22. See the launch of the Māori version of the Quran
  23. Watch a choral version of the Lord’s prayer sung in Māori to recognise New Zealand military personnel killed in Afghanistan
  24. Watch Samuel Marsden Collegiate sing ‘Tihore mai te rangi’ by Hiri Melbourne
  25. Watch the New Zealand Youth Choir Sing "Te Iwi E" In Boston [HD] - December 2, 2013
  26. Watch te reo Māori and te leo Tonga at the Rugby World Cop NZ-Tonga game Hamilton 2017
  27. Take some lessons online
  28. In a group make a list of all the Māori words you know (Māori; waiata, hāngi, ...) Look some of them up in the Te Aka Māori dictionary and expand your knowledge of what they mean
  29. Check out some fabulous Māori performing arts on line
  30. Check out these fantastic videos:
  31. Use some Māori language with your children.
  32. Make some Māori kai and use some Māori words and sentences when you do.
  33. Learn some sporting phrases – and more!
  34. Pick up some language for tourists to enhance the Aotearoa experience
  35. Lean about language and the important Māori cultural concept of manaakitanga
  36. Order your coffee in Māori and promote it.
  37. See if you can read with the help of a dictionary some graphic novel stories about Māori language decision points
  38. Work with some flash cards to learn how to support your teams.
  39. Download, post and lean from some great posters – playground words, home words, kitchen and others.
  40. Learn about the haka ka mate!
  41. Learn the national anthem in Māori
  42. Check out this great introduction to the Māori language from a past Māori Language Week.
  43. Play a word finder game
  44. Label your fridge
  45. If you know some Māori language – extend your skills with this handy summary of some quality issues
  46. Learn about the Māori and Crown Māori language strategies and the Māori and Crown organisations leading their implementation
  47. Read Te Ture mō te Reo Māori (the Māori Language Act): the first New Zealand law in which the Māori version takes precedence.
  48. Hear Professor Rawinia Higgins talk about the thinking behind the Māori Language Act 2016
  49. Learn the Scouts law and promise in te reo Māori
  50. Read about the use of te reo Māori in courts
  51. See some examples of Māori language policies and plans
  52. Check out information about the Māori language on the websites of these Māori language agencies
  53. Find out how to make a language plan to support revitalisation
  54. Read about the history of the Māori language
  55. Check out the Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Maori you tube channel
  56. Read what our Māori language Week ambassador Guyon Espiner had to say about his experience of learning and using te reo Māori on-air
  57. Check our quizes – for more advanced speakers – or anyone with a dictionary and the help of Google.
  58. Quiz questions to do - some are easy, some are hard so grab some friends and a dictionary.  Karawhiua!

*He aha te kupu Māori mō ‘oodles’?