Supporting Māori Language Week in the workplace
This week is Māori Language Week—a week dedicated to celebrating te reo by making a conscious effort to practice it in our daily lives, including at work. While seven days in Mahuru (September) isn’t enough, it’s a timely reminder to pause and embrace the native language of Aotearoa.
We’re at work for the majority of our week, so the workplace is where the majority of learning and action should happen.
Established in 1975, Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori (Māori Language Week), this year marks 50 years since the Government was petitioned to formally recognise the language. Keeping the language strong is something we can all contribute to. There’s never been a better time as now, to take the time.
Below, we’ve compiled helpful resources and ideas to support and celebrate Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori…
Here you’ll find a collection of resources, tips and inspiration for the home and workplace.
Written by Scotty Morrison, the presenter of current affairs shows Te Karere and Marae, this series of books will guide you through your te reo journey in an easy to digest format. Available in print, ebook, and audiobook.
Māori Dictionary App
The Māori Dictionary app (also known as Te Aka Māori Dictionary) is available to purchase on Apple and Android devices, as well as online for free.
Hey Siri, move aside. This one’s pretty clever. A partnership between Spark and the Te Aka Māori Dictionary, it uses artificial intelligence and your phone camera to detect objects and give you its Māori translation.
For emails and letters
Check out this useful doc from the Library and Information Association of NZ, which comprises all the common email phrases in te reo Māori.
Ideas for the workplace
Learn your Pepeha
Learning a language is about starting out small and taking that first step. Like in English, learning to introduce yourself is the foundation of language learning. In te reo Māori, Pepeha is a way of introducing oneself. Using a set structure, it identifies who we are, where we’re from and where we belong. Encourage your team to learn their Pepeha and practice it with new and existing clients.
Using Māori language on bilingual signs is something all organisations can do to promote revitalisation. All. Year. Round. Use this signage list for signs around your salon or clinic.
Greet customers with ‘kia ora’ in person, on the phone and in email communications.
Encourage clients to get on board through a reward, like a small discount on services or a gift with purchase. Promote the initiative through social media, eDMs, and booking reminder emails.
A new word every day
Challenge your team to learn a new word each day of September, or better yet the year – a great place for inspiration is 365 Māori words.
Organise a lunch time te reo Māori lesson.
Set a time at the end of the week where your team only speaks te reo to eachother (i.e. 30 minutes on Friday). It’s a great way to challenge and encourage staff to master the basics by a set date.