8 Jul 2013

Language week theme a winner: Commission chief

11:05 pm on 8 July 2013

The head of the Maori Language Commission says this year's Maori language week theme of names and place names struck a chord with many New Zealanders.

He says the theme sparked many interesting conversations.

Te Wiki o Te Reo Maori - which ended on Sunday - was about encouraging people to learning and correctly pronounce Maori names and place names.

Commission chief executive Glenis Phillip-Barbara says it has made people think more deeply about the different Maori place names around them.

She suspects that this year's kaupapa really drew people's attention to the "Reo" that's in their environment all the time - that is in the form of place names.

Ms Phillip-Barbara says she's feeling quietly pleased that it's ignited general conversations and wananga or in-depth talks - including debates around the country.

She says engagement with Te Reo Maori that makes sense to everyone in their respective environments is always the most successful way to interact the wider population.

The Commissioner says Maori Language Week has to be relevant to each person, which she admits is a tall order to fill at a national level.