Tīmoti Kāretu receives a knighthood

By Ani-Oriwia Adds

Tīmoti Kāretu was officially made Sir Tīmoti Kāretu today as he received his knighthood for his commitment to reviving and uplifting te reo Māori over the years.

An orator of te reo and a leader in the Māori world.

Sir Tīmoti Kāretu says, "I'm still a bit startled but the main thing is to thank everyone, those who were also named and those who have supported me along my journey in order to receive this honour."

Tīmoti Samuel Kāretu has devoted much of his life to the revitalisation, retention and integrity of te reo Māori. Today he was celebrated for his work.

Support group and Te Panekiretanga teacher Leon Blake says, “This honours the different projects that he has lead such as kōhanga reo, the Maori Language Commission, Te Matatini and Panekiretanga.”

Support group and Te Panekiretanga teacher Pānia Papa says, “All of his hard work revitalising the Māori language over the years, this is his bread and his butter, his food. It is only right that we celebrate him and his work.”

Karetu says his reason for committing his professional life to revitalising the language came from his belief that if you say you are Māori, you must learn the language.

Sir Karetu says, “Many years ago, a well-known Māori said that if you don't know how to speak te reo Māori, you are not Māori. I agreed with those words that were spoken at that time.”

Sir Karetu says they will be celebrating, but the work goes on.