Wellington city's te reo ambitions supported with partnership

10:50 am on 20 April 2019

The capital is beefing up its commitment to embrace te reo Māori.

Wellington Mayor Justin Lester at the National remembrance in Wellington

Wellington mayor Justin Lester. Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

A formal agreement has been signed between the Wellington City Council and the Māori Language Commission, Te Taura Whiri.

The two organisations will work together on projects in the city centre, public events, research, and promoting both English and Māori languages, said the city's mayor, Justin Lester.

"Te reo will be a key part of everybody's everyday lives. That'll be if you're at the library, at the swimming pool, even if you're at your local school, or even if you're at a retail outlet.

"We've helped about 80 retail outlets during [the kapa haka festival] Te Matatini come onboard, and even just have customary greetings in Maori."

The council had already worked with the commission on te reo street flags, but it was good to formalise the partnership, Mr Lester said.

"We need partnerships like this to help us put the building blocks in place for a New Zealand that embraces and proudly speaks te reo Māori," Te Taura Whiri chief executive Ngahiwi Apanui said.

Last year the council passed a new policy to support and develop te reo in the city, including increasing the visibility of the languate through signage, and promoting te reo place names.

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