National Māori language summit for young New Zealanders

Press Release – Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Maori

Raranga.Tahi Summit 2019

The first national Māori language summit for young New Zealanders from across Aotearoa will open on Wednesday in Manukau.

The first national Māori language summit for young New Zealanders from across Aotearoa will open on Wednesday in Manukau.

“Like our ancestors, our goals for te reo are inter-generational. To revitalise our country’s first language, we need young New Zealanders to help make it happen,” said Māori Language Commissioner, Professor Rawinia Higgins.

“Our audacious goal is to have 1 million speakers of te reo by 2040. This week is an important step towards that goal.”

As the International Year of Indigenous Languages comes to a close, this week will see a series of te reo Māori events take place across Tāmaki Makaurau.

Kicking off with the Raranga.Tahi summit on Wednesday, on Friday the Vaka Leo Pacific languages forum will be held and later that evening the annual Ngā Tohu Reo Māori – Māori Language Awards will honour the country’s top Māori language initiatives.

The Raranga.Tahi Summit follows on from nine regional wānanga for 12-18-year-olds held across Aotearoa earlier this year and is part of the Maihi Karauna, the Crown’s Māori Language Revitalisation Strategy. The wānanga challenged participants to come up with innovative ideas to help revitalise te reo Māori and realise the audacious goals of the strategy.

The strategy also aims by 2040, to have 85% of New Zealanders, or more, value te reo Māori as a key part of national identity and achieve 150,000 Māori aged 15 and over, using te reo Māori as much as English by 2040.

“These are audacious goals by any measure, but in the development of Maihi Karauna the Government consulted and received more than 2000 submissions that overwhelmingly encouraged us to push the boundaries and set ambitious, meaningful goals,” said Professor Higgins.

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Raranga.Tahi refers to the weaving together of the many voices of rangatahi. This also reflects the summit’s theme “To hear and honour the voices of rangatahi.”
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