With just 40 days to go, Māori Language Week 2019 was formally launched today by the Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy. Dame Patsy, who is a Māori Language Week ambassador, launched the week’s preparations with the words of the waiata by Ngoi Pewhairangi: Whakarongo.

Whiua ki te ao!
Get it out to the world!

Whiua ki te rangi!
Project it to the skies!

Whiua ki ngā iwi katoa!

Reach all peoples!

At a crowded event at Wellington’s Wharewaka, Dame Patsy, the Minister for Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta and Māori Language week ambassadors Guyon Espiner and Pere Wihongi spoke of their enthusiasm for our indigenous language and their hopes for its future.

Māori Language Week is now a major event on the Aotearoa calendar developing from protest action in the 1970s to a national celebration involving thousands of schools, workplaces, community groups and individuals.

Māori Language Week will this year again feature parades in main centres bringing awareness of the revitalisation of te reo Māori to the streets.

The Chief Executive of the Māori Language Commission Ngahiwi Apanui says Māori Language Week, and te reo Māori itself is for all New Zealanders.

“It is an essential part of our national identity, our Aotearoatanga. Nothing says ‘I’m a New Zealander’ better than the use of Māori language and the celebration of its culture”.