National Māori Language Supreme Award Winners - Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi
Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Inc. is elated to receive two awards at the Ngā Tohu Reo Māori held at the Rotorua Energy Events Centre on Friday 7 November 2014. Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Inc. were the successful winner of the Hapori (Community) category sponsored by Māori Television in recognition of the various community initiatives that have been implemented to support the revitalization of te reo Māori.
Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Inc. were also awarded the Tohu Huia Te Reo (Supreme Award) which is awarded to the overall winner of the 12 contestable categories.
Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Inc. chairperson Ngahiwi Tomoana commented: “This is a huge honour for Ngāti Kahungunu’s language revitalization efforts to be recognized at a national level. We are humbled to receive these two awards considering the high calibre of the other finalists and winners.”
Director of Te Reo, Tikanga & Mātauranga Jeremy Tātere MacLeod also commented: “We are very humbled to receive these two awards in recognition of the iwi’s efforts to save our language. These awards serve as a recognition of the hard efforts of many within Ngāti Kahungunu who work tirelessly to ensure the preservation of te reo Māori and also gives us inspiration to continually improve and achieve the goals within our strategy”.
The initial Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Inc. Māori language strategy was launched in August 2006 and reviewed in 2012. The new updated strategy, Kahungunu, kia eke! Ngāti Kahungunu Māori Language Strategy 2012-2027 is comprised of three ‘puna’: puna tangata (people), puna rauemi (resources) and puna mātauranga (knowledge). Ngāti Kahungunu was one of the first iwi nationally to suffer major language losses and is now proud to be at the forefront of iwi leading language revitalization strategies, alongside other iwi like Ngāti Raukawa te au ki Te Tonga, Ngāti Raukawa ki Uta, Taranaki and Ngāi Tahu who have paved the way. The Ngāti Kahungunu Māori language strategy can be summarized into four main pillars:
1. The promotion of bi-lingualism right across the iwi rohe
2. The need for improvement of the quality of language being spoken and taught
3. Innovation in seeking ways of enticing society into learning and using the language
4. The preservation and safe-guarding of the unique Ngāti Kahungunu dialectal variations of te reo Māori.
Jeremy Tātere MacLeod also commented: “National recognition whilst humbling also gives us pleasure in knowing that our efforts are not going unnoticed. It also reminds us that we must always strive to ensure that the strategic goals are achieved and that the endangered language is safe-guarded and protected for generations to come”.