23 Jul 2012

Te reo Maori goes to court

7:12 am on 23 July 2012

The judiciary is making what it calls a historic change by introducing te reo Maori to all District, Family and Youth Courts from Monday.

Maori languague will be spoken during opening, adjournment and closing announcements.

Chief District Court Judge Jan-Marie Doogue says it's a practical way of recognising te reo Maori as an official language of New Zealand.

A training programme has been put in place for court staff to become familiar with Maori phrases.

At the start of proceedings, the court will now hear: "Turituri mo Tona Honore, te Kaiwhakawa, Taiki tu", which means "silence for His or Her Honour the Judge, all stand".

The language is already used in the Maori Land Court, Waitangi Tribunal and Rangatahi Court.

The Maori Language Commission, Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Maori, says it's thrilled and excited by the changes.