2 Nov 2011

Taranaki dialect unites iwi, says adviser

8:17 pm on 2 November 2011

A Taranaki reo adviser says the region's unique dialect has been a unifying factor for the iwi over issues that can be divisive.

Ruakere Hond from Taranaki Tuturu says that while tribes may often disagree, the way they speak is common ground.

He attended a graduation ceremony at Lower Hutt's Waiwhetu marae on Saturday for students of Te Reo o Taranaki, which runs cultural and language courses in conjunction with the Western Institute of Technology.

He says the movement started almost 30 years ago when there was a sharp decline in the number of native Taranaki speakers, and a strong desire to increase the number of competent orators using the Taranaki mita, or dialect.

Mr Hond says the variation of Maori language spoken in the rohe is an issue all iwi in the province are unanimous on.

He says the dialect binds all of the people together.