An echo of Te Reo Māori through waiata and wairua filled the streets last Friday as tamariki & kōhungahunga showed their confidence in a collective hāpori march.

Matariki has set and until it rises, we are in the period known as Mātahi Kari Pīwai (the twelfth month, the gleaning month). By its setting, celebrations have commenced and a large gathering of kura and kōhanga reo which included Te Wharekura o Maniapoto, Te Kura Rautau, Te Kura o Aria, Pukenui, Te Kūiti Kōhanga Reo, Te Iti a Rata Kōhanga Reo, Pipopio College, Primary and Kōhanga Reo, participated in Whīkoi Mō Te Reo.

The whīkoi promotes engagement and more importantly recognises the culturally significant time of year for Māori across Te Nehenehenui and te ao whānui. It is a celebration of who we are, our tikanga, our reo, our kōrero, and our spirituality as tangata whenua.

Whīkoi mō te Reo encourages everyone to speak our native language in the kāinga and in the streets. It is up to pakeke to teach Te Reo and mātauranga Māori as a childs development is crucial in the early stages.  This whīkoi, a regular annual event, showcases Maniapoto pakeke, and  kaiako  doing meaningful and significant mahi with our tamariki.

Te Reo Māori will always be the overarching theme of this whīkoi and it is increasingly being included in curriculums and kura activities which shows that there is a positive change. With these changes, our iwi will continue to strive for a higher platform that places the importance of  Te Reo on the level that it deserves.

The tamariki & kōhungahunga were at the heart of the kaupapa as they sang sweet waiata, told interactive pakiwaitara and connected with local kura to perform the annual mass kapa haka.

Whīkoi Mō Te Reo continues to be embraced by Maniapoto me ōna hapū maha and will certainly bring more opportunities that demonstrate strong inclusive values for the generations to come.

Maniapoto Māori Trust Board are proud to have supported this kaupapa over the years and look forward to Whīkoi Mō Te Reo 2019.