7 Aug 2015

Internet vital to saving Cook Islands Maori

5:32 pm on 7 August 2015

A Cook Islands Maori language teacher in New Zealand says online resources are desperately needed to keep te reo alive.

The fourth annual Cook Islands Maori language week is drawing to a close and events have been held throughout the country to celebrate.

Only 13 percent of the 62 thousand Cook Islanders in New Zealand can speak the language.

Teremoana Hodges teaches adults in the North Island town of Porirua in Wellington.

She says the language week is great at boosting enthusiasm but more is needed to maintain it beyond.

"The solution is online, we've got to look at the virtual learning now and make the most of it, you know look at these little video clips, it's one way of getting into it for someone who's sitting in Timbuktu somewhere and wants to be able to say their name in their language."

Teremoana Hodges says she would like more definite outcomes from the language week such as a commitment to build an app for Cook Islands Maori learners.

Cook Islands Language class porirua

Cook Islands Maori teacher Teremoana Hodges shows the class how to put their rima katau (right hand) in for the hokey tokey. Photo: RNZ Daniela Maoate-Cox