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Resourceful rangatahi lead the way – Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori 2021

Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori, Māori Language Week is all about amplifying the role of te reo in Aotearoa. And three Te Whanganui-a-Tara rangatahi are amplifying not only te reo, but the stories of their ancestors after winning a national competition with their tourism business that shares the kupu tuku iho / history of their area. 

Students Rakairoa Campbell, Waimarama Tapiata-Bright and Rauru-ki-tahi Fitzgerald, who all have te reo as their first language, won $2,500 to get Taraika Tours off the ground in a ‘Sorted in Schools’ contest run by sorted.org.nz. As a result, the three Year 12 rangatahi from Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Ngā Mokopuna partnered with Te Papa Museum, which hosted a photography exhibition to officially launch their walking tour business. 

Called Kupe sites – landmarks of a great voyager, the launch exhibition featured photographs with stories and detailed explanations about places that Kupe, the great Māori navigator and explorer, travelled to around Aotearoa. The students’ tour business will take visitors on foot to these sites around Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington, where the rangatahi will share kupu tuku iho / Māori oral history. 

Rauru-ki-tahi Fitzgerald said, “We’re the last students at this school that really know the Māori history of this area. So we’re hoping to share it to others before we finish school, otherwise we believe that the Māori history and stories of this area will slowly die down.

“My main goal is to leave this for our younger ones and hope that they do the same when they grow up.”

Taraika Tours’ Rakairoa Campbell, Waimarama Tapiata-Bright and Rauru-ki-tahi Fitzgerald.

Kaiako/teacher Renee Campbell said, “They’re bilingual, but te reo Maori is their first language. The students had great feedback from the community and corporates interested in the walking tours. Lots of people are keen to learn more about their local history, and it’s been a great way for them to learn what it takes to run a business.” 

Here are some Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori, Māori Language Week ideas: 

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