Māori Language Week 2021

Te Wiki o te Reo Māori - Māori Language Week has been celebrated in New Zealand since 1975. It is a government-sponsored initiative intended to encourage the revival and use of the Māori language. Each year, the Māori Language Commission sets a theme for the week. This year the theme was Meaningful Learning in te ao Māori.

This week in Mahuru (September) provided students the opportunity to further explore the diversity and richness of one of our country’s official languages. English and Sign Language are the other two official languages of New Zealand.  Te Wiki o te Reo Māori supports the Treaty of Waitangi principles of cultural diversity and inclusion. Students who learn te reo Māori (Māori language) and te ao Māori (Māori world - the interconnectedness and interrelationships of all living and non-living things) can achieve learning outcomes in the curriculum areas of Learning Languages and Social Sciences.

Wairakei Primary School celebrated Māori Language Week with each class undertaking their own activities. The following are some examples -

Te Mihi teachers created a series of must do’s relating to Maori Language Week. There were a variety of activities to choose from. Art, poetry, technology, hands on and movement.


Holly and Lauren are playing with the te Reo flashcards that were made by another student in Room 7. The flash cards have a picture on it and the te Reo word underneath.  These will also be shared with our junior buddy class.


Ashtin is making a puzzle using te Reo numbers. The number is in the middle of the puzzle and surrounded by images that relate to that number. These puzzles will be shared with his junior buddy class


Room 8 supported their learning in Te Wiki o te Reo Māori with Must Do activities. Some students made puzzles for junior students to help them learn ngā tau (numbers), some made flash cards with kupu kararehe (animal words), while others practised reflection in maths using self-designed kōwhaiwhai patterns.


Kritnesh, Rea, Zoe H and Nevaeh made 'Snap/Memory' game cards using te Reo Māori translations.



Junior classes made a concerted effort to incorporate te Reo into their daily routines that will continue for the rest of the year.



Then on Rāmere (Friday) the whole school gathered in their Whārenui Ngā Tae teams. Together we sang Six60’s newly released waiata, Pepeha and performed the Jump Jam classic Kotahitanga. Room 3 were asked to lead the school as they showed so much passion during their practises. Some enthusiastic teachers had also shared their impromptu recording of ‘Pepeha’ to classes  prior to the school performance. This generated discussion as to who the voices on the recording belonged to. It was great to see so much integration and enjoyment of te Reo Māori in our school’s activities.




I loved singing ‘Pepeha’ but I think we need some kapa haka with it. It is a beautiful waiata so it needs some beautiful movements. I will ask my Mum and Dad to help me make some up.  Wiki 


Keywords: Māori Language Week