International Year of Indigenous Languages: Vaka Leo Forum

Press Release – Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Maori

The Vaka Leo Polynesian indigenous languages forum will convene in Tamaki Makaurau on Friday 6 December.

“The International Year of Indigenous Languages is a global effort to save and revitalise indigenous languages. We are honoured to host the Vaka Leo in Aotearoa, to share the experiences of our own te reo Māori champions and to learn from indigenous language leaders from the Pacific,” said Māori Language Commissioner Professor Rawinia Higgins.

“More Polynesian people live in Auckland than any other city on the planet so it is an important touchstone for indigenous Pacific languages, including te reo Māori in Aotearoa.”

As the International Year of Indigenous Languages comes to a close, Tamaki Makaurau will host a series of te reo events next week including Vaka Leo.

Vaka Leo delegates will also attend Raranga.Tahi, the first Māori language summit for young New Zealanders from across Aotearoa being held on Wednesday and Thursday in Manukau.

Friday evening sees the annual Ngā Tohu Reo Māori, Māori Language Awards, honouring the country’s top Māori language initiatives.

Professor Higgins said it is a busy time for the small team at Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori, the Māori Language Commission.

“This year was our most successful Māori Language Week yet as we engaged with millions of New Zealanders, with thousands marching with us on our parades or taking part in initiatives. We also have more entries for the Ngā Tohu Reo Māori | Māori Language Awards than ever before.”

“The challenge is to turn support into speakers and we are working on all fronts to reach our Maihi Karauna goal of 1 million speakers of te reo Māori by 2040.”


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