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Awanuiārangi partners with DHBs to teach te reo

21 September 2017

DHB Reo Maori Workshop 2017

Efforts to get thousands more people speaking te reo Māori every day were stepped up in Auckland this month with the help of Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi.

The Wānanga assisted the Auckland and Waitemata district health boards to deliver a targeted week-long programme to their 17,000 staff for Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori.

The district health boards joined forces with Awanuiārangi as a step toward a wider and more sustained use of te reo Māori across their services, and challenged other district health boards across the country to do the same.

Auckland DHB chief executive Ailsa Claire said the two boards saw the language as an important enabler for wellness (hauora), understanding (whakamāramatanga) and generating a greater sense of belonging (whanaungatanga).

Awanuiārangi provided te reo Māori expertise and tutoring support during the week. DHB staff were encouraged to use the word ‘kia ora’ when answering the phone, greeting people or as a positive affirmation, and a new word was introduced daily. Lunchtime seminars were held with guest presenters including Scot and Stacey Morrison, Te Hamua Nikora and Te Atawhai Tibble. The week’s events also included a staff competition, waiata and pronunciation workshops, with a particular focus on key words used within health services.

The DHBs are planning new initiatives to strengthen the use of te reo Māori, including a Te Reo Māori Award as part of joint Matariki celebrations next year. Staff were also invited to register interest in further Te Reo Māori training programmes.

Professor Te Kani Kingi, Awanuiārangi Executive Director of Research and Innovation, said the partnership with the two major district health boards was an exciting and significant opportunity to strengthen and sustain the wellbeing of te reo Māori through everyday use and understanding.

“It is not often you get the chance to work directly with 17,000 people in a workplace setting like this. These are valuable initiatives that have the potential to make a real difference in revitalising our beautiful language.

“The week was fun, creative and inspirational and there was immense pride and a sense of achievement evident in those learning. Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori may have ended for 2017 but I have no doubt that many of those who made an effort will continue the journey in their daily lives.”