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Te reo Māori has been an official language of New Zealand since 1987. Prior to this for many years, te reo severly lacked adequate representation across Aotearoa.

Māori Language Week has been a huge influence in this process and has turned into a major event in the Aotearoa calendar developing from protest action in the 1970s to a national celebration involving thousands of schools, workplaces, community groups and individuals.

Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori brings awareness to the revitalisation of te reo Māori to the streets.

“It is an essential part of our national identity, our Aotearoatanga. Nothing says ‘I’m a New Zealander’ better than the use of Māori language and the celebration of its culture,” says the Chief Executive of the Māori Language Commission Ngahiwi Apanui who sees te reo Māori useful and important for all New Zealanders.

Although just a week, the celebration and attention drawn to learning and immersing ourselves in te reo Māori is vital. It is a reminder and push to continue learning and practicing tikanga māori and te reo throughout the year. This is something that The Three Trusts — Lifewise, Airedale Property, and Methodist Mission Northern — are working on together, to make sure that the bi-cultural stance of the organisation continues to grow and strengthen.

Kupu o te Rā – a Māori word a day

Throughout Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori, we will share a word a day that is related to both the organisation and its values. These commonly used words will be explained within the context of the Three Trusts and how they fit into our mahi.

Rāhina (Monday): Whanaungatanga

Whanaungatanga implies that one is not on one’s own but has the guidance and support of the wider community. Whanaungatanga is about relationship, kinship and a sense of family connection which is created through shared experiences and working together and provides people with a sense of belonging.

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Rātū (Tuesday): Arohanui

Arohanui literally means ”big love”, yet it’s another Māori word which does not directly translate into the English language! Arohanui is beyond a person, beyond a family and even a community, it could be all-encompassing of the earth; it’s people, animals, plants, our oceans and our universe plus everything within and beyond. It is also one of the Three Trust values!

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Rāapa (Wednesday): Māia

Māia is the Māori translation of the organisation’s value ‘courage’ and means to be brave, bold, capable, confident! Lifewise’s courageous innovation has been well recognised and awarded in Auckland with the Foundation North’s Tohu Autaia Community Stars Award, as well as in Rotorua where the Lifewise team won Matua Raki Workforce Innovation Award for our Patua te Whakamaa initiative.

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Rāpare (Thursday): Kotahitanga

Kotahitanga is the concept of togetherness. Kotahitanga is all about identifying as one through sharing the earth, extending our āwhina (support) to everyone, and receiving the same back.

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Rāmere (Friday): Manaakitanga

Manaakitanga is the process of showing respect, generosity and care for others. It encompasses hospitality, kindness, generosity, and support. It is a great phrase to end Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori on as it represents the values of the organisation and the people who work here so well.