Māori Affairs Minister Dr Pita Sharples today paid tribute to Te Reo Māori Society and Ngā Tamatoa, on the fortieth anniversary of the Māori Language Petition being presented to Parliament.
“14 September 1972 was declared the first National Māori Language Day, and it marks the start of the most incredible struggle for the revitalisation of te reo Māori,” said Dr Sharples.
“In 40 years our reo has returned from a steep decline towards extinction, to the point where two generations of native speakers are using te reo Māori in their daily lives, where public attitudes towards te reo Māori have almost completely turned around, and the language itself has been modernised so it is fit and strong to meet the demands of contemporary lifestyles,” said Dr Sharples.
“It is an inspirational story of success, though not yet a victory. Māori are seen as world leaders among indigenous language groups, who draw hope and strength for the future of their own languages from our achievements. As we celebrate, we must prepare for the challenges that lie ahead.
“Te Reo Māori Society pioneered campaigns for Māori broadcasting, bilingual education and official recognition of Māori – all of which have come to pass. They laid the foundations on which others have built, and Aotearoa is much richer for their legacy. We have come too far not to carry on. We can best honour the pioneers by our continuing commitment to te reo Māori.
Hokinga mai o ngā toa o te reo Māori ki te Whare Paremata
Ka mihi atu te Minita Māori, Takuta Pita Sharples, ki te Rōpū o Te Reo Māori me Ngā Tamatoa, i te huringa o ngā tau whā tekau mai i te tapaetanga pitihana ki te Whare Pāremata, kia akona te reo Māori i roto i ngā kura tuatahi katoa o Aotearoa.
“Ka tohua te 14 o Hepetema 1972 hei Rā o te Reo Māori tuatahi, a, ko tēra te timatanga o tētahi pakanga roa whakahirahira kia whakarauoratia anō te reo Māori, hei ta Dr Sharples.
“I ngā tau whā tekau nei, ka hoki mai to tātou reo i tahekeroa, ki tēnei wa e kōrerotia tūturutia ai te reo Maori e ngā whakatipuranga e rua, i ngā wa katoa; ki tēnei wa e huri ai te marea ki te manaaki i to taou reo; ki tēnei wa e whakahoutia katoatia te reo ake, kia tika mo tēnei ao hou,” hei tana anō.
“He kōrero hihiko i te ngakau tēnei, ahakoa kāore anō kia tūtuki. E kīa ana, ko te iwi Māori hei tauira ki ngā iwi taketake o te ao, e manawanui ana rātou kia ora anō o rātou reo matemate pēnei i te reo Māori. I a tātou e whakanui ana i ngā mahi kua oti, me takatū tātou kia rite mo ngā whakamatautau kei mua.
“Na te Rōpū o Te Reo Māori ngā kaupapa whakapāho reo i kokiri, ngā kaupapa whakaakoranga reo-rua, te whakaturetanga o te reo Māori – a, kua tūtuki katoa ināianei. Na ētahi anō i hanga tētahi whare rangatira i runga i to rātou kaupapa, a, kua whakarangatiratia te motu whānui i a rātou mahi. Kua roa rawa to tātou haere, kia kore ai e haere tonu atu. Ma to tātou whakapūmau tonu ki ngā kaupapa o te reo Māori tātou e whakanui i te hunga nana