50th anniversary of te reo Māori petition commemorated in live streams over two days

By Mana Wikaire-Lewis

Commemorations of Te Petihana Reo Māori (the Māori Language Petition) will be live-streamed on Whakaata Māori tomorrow, September 14, and on Thursday, September 15.

Tomorrow officially marks the 50th anniversary of the petition's delivery to Parliament's steps. Signed by 30,000 people, the petition was a call for recognition of te reo Māori in New Zealand, and for the language to be taught in schools across the country.

The petition was delivered by reo Māori stalwart Hana Te Hemara, leading the activist group Ngā Tamatoa, Te Rōpū Reo Māori (Te Reo Māori Society) and university students to have te reo Māori recognised. 

Tomorrow's live stream will begin at 11am in Wellington, in honour of those who paved the way for many.

Te Hemara is being immortalised in the form of a five-storey tall mural of her, painted by none other than artist Graham Hoete (Ngāi Te Rangi, Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāti Awa), more famously known as Mr G on social media. The karakia and unveiling of the event, in Te Hemara's hometown of Ngāmotu, New Plymouth, will be broadcasted on Thursday, from 6am.  

All events will be broadcast live on Whakaata Māori and live-streamed on Māori+ and www.whakaatamaori.co.nz