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Professor Taiarahia Black gave his keynote address at He Huia Kaimanawa.

Massey finalist in Mäori Language Awards

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The Massey University stand at He Huia
Kaimanawa had numerous visitors over the
two days.

Massey was among 30 finalists in the Mäori Language Awards held last Friday at the end of the inaugural two-day Mäori language expo held at Te Rauparaha Arena in Porirua.

Te Reo Mäori Professor Taiarahia Black was the keynote speaker at a symposium attended by more than 300 people on the first day of the event. His presentation discussed his publication Hokia ki ö maunga, kia purea koe e ngä hau a Täwhirimätea, a collection of Tühoe-based waiata.

“There needs to be a sense of critical awareness as to the present state of language revitalisation; we should not become too complacent,” he says. “We need to continue to be innovative and generate our own leaders within our homes, communities, schools and institutions and find new domains for Mäori language use.”

As a finalist in the tertiary education category, one of the awards’ nine categories, which included  business, local government, community, radio, television, print, schools and tertiary and Mäori Language Week, the University was invited to exhibit at the event.  Some of the most influential exponents of te reo Mäori were present over the two days, during which workshops, exhibitions and panel discussions were held to map future pathways for te reo Maori development. One topic of discussion was the potential creation of a centre of Mäori language excellence.

During the awards, special presentations were made in honour of the significant contribution made by Te Ataarangi, a Mäori language learning method using coloured rods pioneered by te reo Mäori stalwart and author Katerina Te Heikoko Mataira in the 1970s and to former Mäori Language Commissioner and Te Wänanga o Aotearoa Mäori Language Professor Timoti Karetu for his long-term contribution and commitment to te reo Mäori.

The expo, called He Huia Kaimanawa, which means to have commitment for a certain kaupapa or a cause, in this case te reo Mäori, was organised by Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Mäori (the Mäori Language Commission). The aim was to bring people together from across the community to discuss, showcase and celebrate Mäori language success and innovation in Aotearoa.

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