Te Wairoa Reorua 2040

Ko te reo te mauri o te mana Māori

The language is the life essence of Māori existence.

The vision

Te Wairoa Reorua 2040, is the vision of four kaitiaki organisations, Te Kura Motuhake o Te Ataarangi, Nga Kohanga Reo o te rohe o Te Wairoa, Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Ngāti Kahungunu o Te Wairoa and Te Taiwhenua o Te Wairoa. They have come together, with the Human Rights Commission, to work on a strategy to set their community on the path to becoming bilingual by 2040.

Human rights and responsibilities

The right to learn and use one’s own language is an internationally recognised human right. Human rights treaties and declarations refer specifically to rights and responsibilities in relation to indigenous languages, minority languages, and learning and using one’s own mother tongue.

We, as New Zealanders, also have a particular responsibility under the Treaty of Waitangi and international law to protect and promote te reo Māori as the indigenous language of Aotearoa, New Zealand.

Te Reo Māori in Wairoa

Te Reo Māori is the heritage language of many of those living in Wairoa. Initiatives aimed at assisting this right to be realised, and the use of te reo to grow, include our Kura, Ataarangi, Kohanga Reo and, of course, the marae in our rohe.

These initiatives, however, encounter barriers when reo speakers venture into the community. The 2040 goal will enable Māori, English and other languages to be valued and kept alive in and around Wairoa.

Why 2040?

Sometimes, in the urgency to save a language, the big picture is overlooked. 2040 looks at the overall picture. It allows time for us to think and act strategically, and gives us the space to work together, allowing time for the whole community to make changes that will enable the goal to be reached.

2040 does not mean that whānau, hapū or organisations cannot reach the goal sooner. In fact, as people work together, momentum will build − resources will be created and support within the community with grown and strengthen − and it may well be reached sooner.

2040 also marks the end of the second century of the Treaty of Waitangi.  Being bilingual will be an achievement that truly celebrates our Treaty partnership.

What does a bilingual Wairoa look like?

International language planning research suggests that there are five main areas that account for language health − language usage, status, acquisition, corpus  (collection of writings) and awareness. By taking these into account, we believe a bilingual Wairoa would mean:

  • strong use of reo in most homes
  • shops and offices having the capability to provide a reo service
  • schools delivering their curriculum in te reo
  • reo used in the street in day-to-day conversations
  • workplaces requiring and using reo competencies.

2012 Launch

Te Wairoa Reorua 2040 was launched on Human Rights Day 10 December 2012 at  Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Ngāti Kahungunu o te Wairoa in Kitchener St, Wairoa. On Human Rights Day 2010, the kura declared itself an organisation based on human rights.