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Whaowhia te kete mā­tauranga


This Mā­ori proverb (Whakataukī) translates in English to ‘fill the basket of knowledge’.  A good reflection for us this year as we roll into September and celebrate Mā­ori language week (September 12 to September 18).

The origins of Māori language week pipe back to 1972, when Parliament was petitioned to promote the language.  From there, Māori Language Day was established, which was changed to Māori Language Week three years later.  Te Reo Māori was recognised as the official language of Aotearoa in 1987.

This year, the theme of Kia kaha Te Reo Māori – ‘making the language stronger’ - continues from where it left off in 2022.

Filling our own kete of knowledge this year, we encourage you to ako (learn), kōrero (speak), or pānui (read) about how you can become involved and increase your knowledge and use of te reo Māori.

Try ordering your next takeaway kawhe (coffee) in te reo Māori - ‘He rāte kore hinu koa’, grab some Parāoa parai (gluten-free of course), or answer your phone with a Māori greeting – ‘Kia Ora’/ ‘Mōrena’ (if in the morning).  Challenge your friends and whānau to do the same – many of us are on our own te reo journey – seek guidance, many community providers will offer free or low-cost te reo courses – great for everyone from beginner to novice. Let us continue to strengthen the language encouraging everyday te reo use.

Visit  for great resources, pronunciation guides and even games to play with your whanau and continue to strengthen your own te Reo Māori.

Ka pai whanau.  Mā te wā

Article provided by Coeliac New Zealand Dietary Education Manager Suzanne Aitken

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