Te Wiki o Te Reo
Last week Woods celebrated Te Wiki o Te Reo (Māori language week) by engaging in initiatives aimed at helping us to improve our understanding and use of Te Reo Māori in our day to day. We started in style by placing Te Reo translations of our common areas around our Grafton office, from the Kītini (Kitchen) to Meeting Rooms (Rūma Hui) right through to the Whare Paku (Toilet). We also gave special mention to our Pou Whakahaere (Directors) with Te Reo signs for their offices too.
Practical initiatives included ‘how to guides’ such as how to update the language settings on our computers to be able to type macrons over Māori vowels where required. These little Macrons are a key part of pronunciation and also ensure we are doing our best to honour Te Reo through technical accuracy. The initiative which attracted the most engagement by far was learning our Pepeha, which is a way of introducing yourself in Te Reo Māori. A Pepeha tells people who you are by sharing your connections with the people and places which are significant to you and have helped to shape you and form your sense of ‘home.’ In addition to being hugely beneficial for you to be able to introduce yourself in Te Reo Māori and learn more about your own sense of place, Pepeha also helps us learn more about the origins of others. The many Pepeha which were created (using the Pepeha.nz website) reflected the huge diversity of origins across New Zealand from the Kaipara Harbour down to Waihopai (Invercargill) as well as abroad with some staff from Northern India identifying with the mighty Himalayas as their Maunga.
As consultants we have a huge opportunity to use Kupu o Te Reo Māori (Māori words and phrases) daily with our many different clients and specialists as well as each other in and around the office. Te Reo Māori isn’t meant to just be spoken one week a year, but this one week helps to elevate it towards it becoming more normalised in our day to day life.