Search begins for Māori language champions

Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori is calling for entries for the 2016 Ngā Tohu Reo Māori – New Zealand’s most prestigious Māori language awards.

In its 11th year, Ngā Tohu Reo Māori recognises and celebrates people and groups making a difference for te reo Māori so the landscape of Aotearoa New Zealand will resonate with our indigenous language.

“These awards are about honouring amazing people and groups, Māori and non-Māori, doing extraordinary things to create positive attitudes about the language, increase the number of speakers of the language and overall, elevate the mana or status of te reo Māori in Aotearoa,” said Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori chief executive Ngahiwi Apanui.

There are 14 categories in the awards, three of which are new – arts and entertainment, media and sports.

“We’ve added these categories because during this year’s Māori Language Week, there were so many people and groups within these industries that really gave te reo Māori a go!”

Unlike previous years, self-nominations will no longer be accepted. Nominators and nominees must be no younger than 15 years of age and be citizens of Aotearoa.

The contestable categories are:

•          Arts & Entertainment

•          Broadcasting

•          Business

•          Central Government

•          Community

•          Education (Māori Medium)

•          Education (Open)

•          Individual

•          Digital Innovator

•          Local Government

•          Māori Language Week

•          Media (News)

•          Sports

•          Youth

Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori will host this year’s awards gala dinner with Te Reo o Taranaki in New Plymouth on November 11.

Entries opened today and will close on 14 September 2016 and can be submitted online via