Te Reo Irirangi o Maniapoto (MFM) will host the inaugural 'Great Maniapoto Reo Debate' this Thursday June 4 in Te Kūiti.
The evening will consist of entertaining kōrero and waiata Māori as MFM staff members Te Aturangi Stewart and Rāniera Winikerei lead their respective teams and put their reo Māori skills to the test.
Winikerei, who is MFM's Programme Director says "The debate is an opportunity for those who are passionate about te reo to come together, to enjoy each others company, to be entertained, whilst being totally immersed in a te reo Māori speaking environment."
"MFM is incredibly excited about the inaugural Great Maniapoto Reo Debate. We believe that it is very important to be proactive in our engagement with the community, both with non-speakers and speakers of te reo Māori. Te reo is central to everything we do and is the very foundation of our existence, so we are constantly looking at new and innovative ways of promoting te reo, and this debate is just one way of celebrating the beauty of te reo Māori in the community" Winikerei says.
Guest judges, all whom are of Maniapoto descent, will also be making an appearance, including Rāhui Papa, Tom Roa, Rovina Maniapoto-Anderson and Te Reo Analyst Hinurewa Poutu.
MFM General Manager Jaqui Taituha, along with Site Manager of the Maniapoto Campus of Te Wānanga o Aotearoa , Doug Ruki, will be MC's for the occasion. They say those who were lucky enough to register for this now booked out function will "enjoy a night of friendly company, inviting hospitality and laughable entertainment."
The debate will take place in the hope that it will encourage more uri within Ngāti Maniapoto to learn and speak te reo Māori so that it becomes part of their every day lives.
"We believe that the debate will not only encourage more people to speak Māori, but also enable those who have just started learning te reo to be exposed to a whole host of different levels of proficiency from native and fluent speakers, to intermediate and beginners,"
"MFM has been totally committed to reo revitalization and promotion for almost 25 years now. The debate is not only a wonderful way of promoting te reo, but it’s also a great avenue to debate current, topical and tribal matters that affect us as Maniapoto, and te ao Māori as a whole. So if given the opportunity, MFM would love to continue coordinating this event, in the hope that it will grow and expand, and continue to encourage our people to kōrero Māori" Winikerei adds.
The event is supported by Mā Te Reo and Te Taura Whiri i Te Reo Māori.