Te Wiki o te Reo Māori runs 13th-19th September. Re: News invited journalist and podcaster Kahu Kutia to guest edit our content for the week. Here, she reflects on what the week means and outlines what our coverage will look like. We’ll update this article every day with links to all our Te Wiki content.

E mihi ana ki a koutou katoa i runga i ngā āhuatanga whakahirahira o te wā. Ko tēnei te wiki e whakanuia ana e tātou tō tātou reo rangatira, te reo tuatahi o tēnei motu. Ki a koutou e noho ana ki tērā tōpito, ki tērā tōpito o te motu, nau mai, rarau. 

Another September arrives and we find ourselves once again in Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. I have a strong belief that we should be celebrating and sharing our reo every week of the year, but Te Wiki o te Reo Māori can also be a time to reflect on our journey so far, to honour those pou of the revitalisation movements, and to have meaningful discussions about the ways te reo exists in our daily lives.

There’s a lot of discussion that happens every year, and this year is no different, about the different ways that Te Wiki o te Reo Māori can make us feel. I’ve been sharing kōrero lately with people in my communities about the nuance of our collective reo journey. 

We can feel deep pride and connection to te reo Māori (regardless of whether or not we can speak it with words), but there's also pōuri, mamae, and whakamā as we process and live through a colonial legacy that has served to strip te reo Māori from us in so many ways.

That was something I’ve been really conscious of this week. In some ways, this week for me feels like a huge excuse to celebrate. But I also feel the urge to roll my eyes as we see the way te reo is taken on tokenistically by many - a week when Māori are called on to give even more free labour for workplaces and organisations who still do not structurally or sustainably support te reo Māori and kaupapa Māori. 

This week, we’ve tried to capture a range of content that reflects all of our feelings. As we celebrate Te Wiki o te Reo Māori let us not forget that learning and growing te reo Māori is a privilege not afforded to everyone. That our reo rangatira and us as a people have not won until we have broken down the many barriers that continue to inhibit our people connecting with te reo Māori.

I would love to hear your thoughts and about your own reo journeys. Māori mai, tauiwi mai, we all come to this kaupapa from different experiences and angles and there’s lots of wānanga to be had as we dream and scheme about the future of te reo Māori. 

No matter how you come to this kaupapa, I hope you find peace and rest this week, and are able to connect to the kaupapa in whatever way feels right for you.

On Rāhina (Monday), we have affirmations for those of you who need a reminder of your connection to te reo Māori, written for us by Ariana Stevens. 

We also have the first of our Tik Toks speaking to different placenames in Aotearoa and the kōrero behind that name. 

Rātu (Tuesday) brings us a history of Te Wiki o te Reo Māori, looking to the timeline of reo revitalisation in the 20th century. 

Later in the week we’ll bring you kōrero with people who were told te reo would get them nowhere, and what they’re doing with that reo now. 

We have some beautiful reflections from journalist Shilo Kino on spending 2021 in full immersion te reo classes, whakaaro from young Māori in Te Whanganui-a-Tara about their aspirations for te reo, and some fun horny reo for you to incorporate into your life. 

We’ll wrap up the week with an interview between a kaumatua and a rangatahi talking about their reo journeys, and an interview with Hana from the Waiata Anthems tira talking about translating waiata into te reo Māori.

You’ll also see throughout the week some beautiful art made by Pounamu Wharekawa (@pounamu.pounamu). I asked them to share some kōrero about their mahi toi, and you can read that here.

Nō reira, e te iwi, kia kaha koutou ki te kōrero, kia pai tō wiki!

More stories:

Overcoming the shame of being Māori but not speaking te reo | He Kākano Ahau: Wawatatia | Episode 6

Decolonising gender and sexuality in Wellington city

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