Ngā Tohu Reo Māori 2020 | National Māori Language Awards 2020

web ngatohu

Ko ia tangata i whai wāhi mai ki Te Wā Tuku Reo Māori i ahurei ai i tēnei tau, kua whakawhiwhia ki te tohu whakaihuwaka o Ngā Tohu Reo Māori 2020.  

“Koni atu i te kotahi miriona tāngata i hono mai i Te Wiki o te Reo Māori ki te whakanui ngātahi i te kaupapa nui rawa o te reo Māori. Ko rātou katoa tēnā kua whakawhiwhia ki te Tohu Reo Māori,” te kī a Ngahiwi Apanui, Tumu Whakahaere  o Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori.

“Kāore he hunga kei raro e putu ana, i te mahi ako me te kōrero i te reo Māori; i tēnei tau kei te whakanui ngātahi tātou i ngā toa reo Māori, neke atu i te kotahi miriona, puta noa i Aotearoa, i te ao anō hoki.”

Mō te roanga ake

MLM Upper Hutt School 2

Upper Hutt School was awarded the Hei Tiki lamp for being the top recruiting organisation for Te Wā Tuku Reo Māori 2020.

“Māori Language Moment was a big deal for our school as it was the first time we had taught our school haka on a large scale. Prior to this it was only taught to our senior students. It was fantastic to see seniors practising tuakana-teina with our juniors in order to teach kupu and actions. The pride that our seniors felt when seeing their junior buddies performing the haka was heart-warming. To be able to perform as a whole school under our oak tree, which is a significant part of our school, was amazing. To be able to share this experience with our whānau and community, was even better. We had parents talking about how their children practised with enthusiasm at home and took every opportunity to perform in front of family,” says kaikako Shanice.

This year, Upper Hutt School has joined a number of schools in the Kura Ahurea programme, which assists schools in building a progression of knowledge surrounding sentence structures, tikanga and Māori creation stories. This programme has enabled teachers a starting point to build their knowledge alongside students, and from this, tamariki are beginning to form and understand simple sentences.

“It has been a great opportunity to kōrero and collaborate with other kaiako and schools that are on the same learning journey,” says Shanice.

Over the past two years, Upper Hutt School students have also been increasing their knowledge of phrases through the creation of weekly kīwaha videos, which are then shared with whānau as a way of celebrating and reinforcing the use of reo at home.

Read more from the Education Gazette.

Highlights from Te Wā Tuku Reo Māori 2020

Over 6 thousand people from schools, businesses, communities, whānau and individuals shared their moments to our wall.
See some of our highlighted moments below.

Kura | Schools

VLN primary schhol


VLN Primary School

We are pleased to recognise VLN Primary School for having a standout moment during this year’s Wā Tuku Reo Māori for their inspiring display of kotahitanga. Joining them for their ‘Online Rumaki’ were approximately 4000 tamariki from 77 kura across Aotearoa, sharing in karanga, karakia, waiata and kōrero. Their moment was led by students across the kura and was later distributed as a resource for more kura to enjoy and use throughout the year.

"We see there is a great need in our schools to provide opportunities to learn te reo Māori and to increase the number of confident te reo speakers. We work with schools to provide these opportunities online. Te reo Māori and Kapa Haka are our most popular classes. We want to raise the profile of learning online and get support for more schools to access our expertise and grow their confidence and capability in te reo me tikanga Māori."


Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Ātihaunui a Pāpārangi ki Whanganui

"I te Wiki o te Reo Māori 2020 ka mīharo au i te titonga waiata hou a ngā tamariki o te akomanga Pā Harakeke Tēina o Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Ātihaunui a Pāpārangi ki Whanganui. Nā rātou, nā ngā Tau 5, Tau 6 o te Kura i tito ngā kupu ki te whakaahua i tō rātou aroha ki te reo, mō te reo, ki te ako hoki i te reo. Nā tō rātou pouako nā Rama Ashford rātou i ārahi, engari nā ngā tamariki ngā kupu, te rangi me ngā whakamārama. Tangi ana te ngākau engari ihiihi ana. E mihi ana ki ngā rangatira mō te āpōpō."

Wainuiomata Intermediate School

"One of our kaiako taught the cup song to our rangatahi to the waiata Tutira Mai. We decided that after our cup song we would sing our school song as well. We held a special school assembly in which our bilingual class, Te Kāhui Tamariki, delivered the assembly entirely in te reo Māori as well as using sign language to acknowledge Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. Rotarota for the following week. That was our Māori Language Moment for 2020 and we are so glad to be a part of this historical event." 

Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Kaikohe

"I hakaina e mātou te haka o Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Kaikohe." 

Iqra School

"Students at Iqra School in New Lynn spent the week playing poi rākau, and learnt the two commands mauī and matau in preparation for it. All classes from years 1 to 6 were taught the game by me (whaea Mariam) the week prior, and they all spent their morning tea and lunch times enjoying the game lead by their class teachers during Te Wiki o te Reo Māori."

St Francis of Assisi Catholic School

"We are so proud of our tamariki! On Monday we were lead by our year 7 and 8 te reo Māori rōpū for an hour of activities including kōrero, pānui, ako, whakarongo, waiata, and tākaro to celebrate Te Wā Tuku Reo Māori and the beginning of Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. Our entire kura took part, and everyone had a great time celebrating te reo!" 

Glen Taylor

"Room 5's students were learning greetings in te reo Maori. Zurielle, Alyssa and Jasmine created this video tutorial to support our learning. Ka pai!" 

Pakihi | Businesses & Organisations


D293C6E5 411B 4D56 B6AC 7B79C36D2D29



This year the SkyCity rōpū lit up the Sky Tower with the Hei Tiki to show their support for te reo Māori. This set a monumental example to the rest of the country kua takoto te mānuka! While the outside was lit up all week, at 12pm on 14 September, SkyCity hosted a Zui for all their staff to participate in kēmu and kōrero to celebrate the Māori Language Moment. 

We are pleased to recognise SkyCity for having a standout moment during this year’s Tuku Reo Māori.


University of Waikato - Tauranga

"Our Te Wiki o te Reo Māori Moment took place in the atrium of the University of Waikato Tauranga campus, in front of our campus Poutokomanawa, Tāne Mahuta/Tāwhaki (carved by artist, Whare Thompson). More than 80 tauira and staff joined our Te Tohu Paetahi kaiako Ngairo Eruera and Senior Māori Liaison Advisor Tahangāwari Tangitu-Huata (waiata coach/guitar), for a waiata - I Te Ao I Te Pō"

NZ National Commission for UNESCO & Te Tāhuhu o Te Mātauranga

"The National Commission Secretariat, together with our Te Ara Kaimanawa – Te Tāhuhu o Te Mātauranga colleagues, was proud to celebrate Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. We sang Tihei Winiwini as our Māori Language Moment."

Education New Zealand Manapou ki te Ao

"In celebration of Te Tuku Reo Māori and Te Wiki o te Reo Māori , we at Education New Zealand Manapou ki te Ao launched our organisation waiata 'Manapou ki te Ao' written by Te Haumihiata Mason and Ed Tuari."

Dawson Falls Mountain Lodge Kaponga

"We have our coffee menu in Māori and played the Te Wiki playlist throughout the day. It was amazing and heartwarming to hear our visitors singing along and taking a shot at ordering their coffee in Māori."

Countdown New Zealand

"We asked our team to upload videos of themselves speaking in te reo. Our team across stores, support offices and warehouses sent in their videos to share with Aotearoa."

Hapori | Community & Whānau



Ōtaki Waka Hoe

"I tuku i te waka o te reo ki te aumoana o Parirua. He whakarewatanga o te rauemi reo - Waka Reo ki te Aumoana. I reira ka whakatauira i ngā kupu me ngā kianga kua āta wānangahia e mātou ko tō te mātanga reo a Hēni Jacob."

Ōtaki Waka Hoe worked with mātanga reo, Hēni Jacob, to research and develop kupu and phrases for waka ama communities to use while out on the water. For their Māori Language Moment they took to the waters to launch their new language resource 'Waka Reo ki te Aumoana'.

This rauemi is another step in to normalising and encouraging the use of te reo Māori in our everyday lives. We are pleased to recognise Ōtaki Waka Hoe for having a standout moment during this year's Wā Tuku Reo Māori. Hoea te reo!


Te Wā Tuku Reo Māori ki Ahitereiria

Bringing together the Australian Māori community to partake in the ultimate challenge as part of Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. "Kia kore koe e ngaro, taku reo rangatira" - You my sacred language shall never be lost.

Kayla & Whānau - Hamilton

"All week my whanau and I have been learning a new waiata called 'E Minaka Ana' in celebration of Te Wiki o te Reo Maori. My husband even sat down to learn it also which was AWESOME! He's way too shy so doesn't feature in the video. This was also my daughter's first time learning waiata and actions as well she totally LOVED it! We had fun and will continue to keep our culture alive in my family." 

Te Whare Kōrero

Kaimahi from Te Wānanga o Raukawa took a comedic approach to celebrating Te Wiki o te Reo Māori with their hilarious weather skit using practical, everyday language. Ka mutu pea!

Varney Whānau

"This was our first time singing together as a family like this! It was fitting to sing “Thank You” by Stan Walker as we really appreciated the opportunity to be a small part of Te Wā Tuku Reo Māori 2020 celebrating te reo and promoting its revitalisation. My grandparents were part of the generation scared off using and valuing te reo, so they never passed te reo on. Te Wā Tuku Reo Māori 2020 has been a tāonga nunui for us - a celebration of te reo, courage to kōrero te reo, a time of whakawhanaungatanga with our tamariki, and an opportunity to bring our voices together in waiata."

Loopy Tunes Preschool Music

"We chose to jump on Facebook LIVE and teach people the importance of learning and mastering their vowels in order to better pronounce ngā kupu māori. We then sang A ha ka ma :) So much fun!"

Jacqueline & Whānau

Whakarongo mai ki ēnei manu tīoriori!

"Tēnā koutou, i tēnei ata, I waiata mātou, Hareruia"

Takitahi | Individuals


Kathryn Ruge

"In conjunction with PRINZ, I created this short clip to encourage people to overcome their fear of failure and take the next step, however small, in their te reo journey."

We recognise Kathryn Ruge for the video she shared for Te Wā Tuku Reo Māori, encouraging others to give it a go. She is open about her journey - for 8 years she has been learning - and shares her experience trying again and again to learn te reo Māori through different methods. In Kathryn's words "take a small step today - however small".



Matt shows us that you can be anywhere doing anything and still take a moment to join in te Wā Tuku Reo!

"At 12pm on Monday, I met the brother Glen. He was simply doing his mahi and working next to us when I was getting into my car at 12pm. This was our paku korero! I found out that he's Ngāti Porou and Ngā Puhi, but is yet to learn more about his whakapapa and where he's from. What a courageous fella for stepping out, giving the reo that he knew a go and for letting me record him. If you're out there my bro, much love to you and all the best on your journey of self discovery, identity, whakapapa and te reo Māori."



Claire is the perfect example of using your creativity and talents to celebrate te reo Māori in your own way.

"Our Mahuru Māori Kiwaha boxes have been such a hit. Making learning easy while enjoying a snack." 


Karen chose to pānui for her Māori Language Moment this year.

"This pūrākau was written by my beautiful friend, Kathleen. It was a challenge for me, especially with the Ngāi Tahu dialect!"


Anne has fun with karetao (puppets) to create reo Māori videos for her students.

"Ko tēnei te whānau karetao. Ka mahi mātou i ētahi kiriata i te reo Māori hei tautoko i āku akonga i te wā o te rāhui o Covid"

Tāme Iti

Tāme talks about the moment the Māori Language Petition was delivered in 1972 and his experience being a part of it all through the Victoria University's Te Reo Māori Society.

Te Wiki o Te Reo.jpg


"We started with a speech about the significance of this date and time, followed by waiata & karakia. The shared lunch was a group effort with everyone participating, from the table decorations to the homemade rewana bread and steamed pudding. Everyone felt the wairua of coming together and celebrating this special day. We wanted to make sure we sounded like Tui's on the day, so the bottom right photo is of a few at singing practice the week before"