On 14 September 1972 the Maori rights group, Ngaa Tamatoa, alongside Te Reo Maaori Society initiated their nation-wide petition seeking official status of Te Reo Maaori. They would later present that petition to government on 7 December 1972 supported by 30,000 signatures. As a direct result of their actions, the Government then introduced the teaching of Maaori in primary and secondary schools as an optional extra. It also established a one-year training course for native speakers to address the shortfall in qualified staff. It was also on this year that the influential group played the leading role in establishing Maaori Language Day, which then extended to Maaori Language Week – Te Wiki o Te Reo Maaori in 1975.
Te Reo Maaori is a taonga and a vital part of our collective culture and national identity. Last week, was Te Wiki o Te Reo Maaori (9 – 15 Mahuru 2019), which was celebrated with a number of events across the week at the school and by participating in te Whiikoi moo te reo Maaori in Kirikiriroa (Hamilton).
On Raamere 13 o Mahura/ Friday 13 September, Waikato-Tainui partnered with a number of other organisations to coordinate a symbolic whiikoi in central Kirikiriroa (Hamilton). As a Waikato-Tainui kawenata kura we took nine student leaders to be a part in this whiikoi to tautoko Waikato-Tainui and join the celebration of Te Reo Maaori. The whiikoi started at the Meteor Theatre travelling up Victoria Street through to Garden Place square in central Kirikiriroa where there was a number of reo friendly activities, and entertainment.
It was an honour to support and be a part of this nationally significant event.