28 May 2013

Ngai Tahu to celebrate Maori language achievements

10:25 am on 28 May 2013

Ngai Tahu descendants who have contributed to the promotion of te reo Maori will be celebrated and acknowledged at the Ngai Tahu Reo Maori Awards early in June.

Statistically, the South Island iwi is one of the most challenged when it comes Maori language speakers, and the tribe has put a plan in place to ensure the language - including its unique dialect - is revitalised.

The tribe started a strategy in 2000 - Kotahi Mano Kaika, Kotahi Mano Wawata - which aims to have a thousand Ngai Tahu homes speaking the Maori language.

Co-ordinator of the Ngai Tahu Reo Maori Awards, Paulette Tamati-Elliffe, says the awards are inspiring whanau to keep the language alive in the home environment.

She says although nominations and categories for the awards are open to all Ngai Tahu descendants, there are also sections available for all Maori living in the South Island to recognise their work, too.

The Ngai Tahu awards will be held at Otakou Marae in Dunedin on Saturday 15 June. Nominations close on 3 June.