New web series launched about the journey of te reo Māori

By Jessica Tyson
March on Parliament in support of the Māori Language. Source / Dominion Post, Alexander Turnbull Library

The journey that led to recognising Māori as an official Aotearoa language and taonga has been captured as a web series and launched today during Te Wiki o te Reo Māori.

The Treaty Settlement story: Te Mana o te Reo Māori is published online by Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage, in partnership with Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori, the Māori Language Commission.

It was created as part of the Te Tai Treaty Settlements programme aimed at increasing understanding of the past by exploring Treaty settlements and their enduring impact. 

The story is broken up into eight parts, starting with the origins of te reo in the 1200s to 2020, post-claim revitalisation. It features multimedia content such as photos and videos of the journey of te reo in war, newspapers and broadcast. 

Two members of Waitangi Tribunal visit kohanga reo at Waiwhetu / Photo by John Nicholson. Dominion Post. Alexander Turnbull Library

Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni encourages all New Zealanders to access the story.

“This week, across the nation, we get to recognise te reo Māori for the strong and beautiful language it is. We believe te reo Māori is a taonga that strengthens relationships and an understanding for each other across Aotearoa.”

She says te reo Māori is a living language, and understanding its significance and pathway to becoming an official language is part of the New Zealand story.

“Te reo Māori is an intrinsic part of this nation. Acknowledging its importance and the place te ao Māori plays now and into the future can only benefit us as a country, she says.

“Māori also links us to other nations. It is part of a vast language group extending from Rapanui (Easter Island) across Polynesia and Southeast Asia to Madagascar off the African coast and north to China.”

Te Mana o te Reo Māori is the fourth story to be published in the series.