Te reo Māori to echo through Rotorua CBD

Caption: Te Tatau o Te Arawa manahautū, Jude Pani, Kōtihi Reo director, Dr Anaha Hiini, and Te Arawa FM/ The Heat host, Norm Rahiri, in Te Manawa.  

Te Tatau o Te Arawa, Kōtihi Reo Consultants and Te Arawa FM are teaming up for Te Wiki o te reo Māori.

This year’s national campaign marks 50 years (14 September 1972) since the Māori language petition was delivered to Parliament. In recognition, the three Rotorua-based organisations are collaborating and will share te reo Māori lessons and proverbs via a sound system in the city CBD from next week. (12 – 18 September)

Te Tatau o Te Arawa, with support from Rotorua Lakes Council and Te Taumata o Ngāti Whakaue, installed the system in Te Manawa in June as part of their joint commitment to advancing Rotorua Reorua | Bilingual Rotorua.

Piloted to promote the first Matariki public holiday, Te Tatau o Te Arawa manahautū, Jude Pani, says the installation builds on Rotorua’s unique sensory experience of seeing and hearing Te Arawa culture.

“The soundscape is one step towards enabling people and visitors alike who are in the city to experience a sensory overload where they can engage with te reo Māori in different ways which align with our Te Arawa 2050 Vision. A future that has Te Arawa reo, tikanga and values woven into the everyday of our people, our partners and the communities in our rohe. A big mihi to Kōtihi Reo
and Te Arawa FM for teaming with us, and a special thank you to our local businesses near Te Manawa for their support,” she says.

The Māori Language Week Soundscape will feature kōrero scripted and delivered by Dr Anaha Hiini and produced by Te Arawa FM.

Kōtihi Reo director, Dr Anaha Hiini, whose business runs reo Māori classes and cultural advisory and translation services, is supportive of the project.

“Partnering on this kaupapa makes sense because Kōtihi is committed to supporting the revitalisation of te reo Māori and te reo o Te Arawa. Wherever there is a need and a passion for te reo Māori, we are happy and honoured to provide service to celebrate the mana of te reo Māori while showcasing the poetic beauty of one of Aotearoa’s official languages,” he says.

Te Arawa FM/ The Heat host, Norm Rahiri, says the station couldn’t turn down the opportunity.

“This kaupapa epitomises who we are. We are Te Reo Irirangi o Te Arawa, the Iwi Radio Station for Te Arawa and the Rotorua district. It’s a perfect fit for our normal business as usual – to celebrate te reo Māori and Te Arawatanga while at the same time creating an opportunity, through bringing our collective skills together, to help support locals and visitors to Rotorua to learn kupu Māori and everyday sayings.”

The Te Wiki o te reo Māori Soundscape experience will take place from 12 - 18 September for a few minutes at about midday each day over the seven days.