“Teachers have an amazing opportunity to look at parallels between the education systems of New Zealand and Wales.

Following from post about the New Zealand teachers coming to look at the bilingual system in Wales, they are now here and will be looking at the similarities and differences between the two systems. It will be a unique opportunity for them to see the good practice in both and use this knowledge to improve language learning and bilingual education so I for one will be keeping a close eye on the results.

“The opportunity to swap stories, compare approaches, and form networks makes this an invaluable exchange for those charged with empowering the next generation of first language speakers in both countries.”

Some of the highlights of the report are below.

“I tailor my reo to suit, so for a child who has English as a second language and is new to New Zealand it could be less than for a Maori child who speaks some reo at home,” she said.

“Some kohanga reo [pre-school classes] only take children who speak reo at home so learning between kohanga and home can be consolidated.

Nichola McCall, 27, from Manurewa High School, Auckland, who is making her first
visit to Wales, said: “I want to speak to community leaders, principals and
teachers in Wales and find out how they manage to get that equality between the
two languages.


Maori bilingual school wins in national sign language competition

Such a heart warming story.  Learners in a Maori school win a national sign langauge competition

“We do lots of trilingual stuff all the time. They speak in English, we speak in Maori and they sign.


The year 0 to year 6 Maori bilingual unit at Te Korowai o te Aroha was definitely the best in its age bracket and was the best in the North Island.

A Christchurch intermediate school won the first AUT StarSign sign language competition during national sign language week at the beginning of August but senior teacher Robin Taua-Gordon and teacher aide Khrystal Morunga say they are pleased for their kids who competed against high school students for the prize.

“We’re successful here, not in spite of where we are, but ‘because of’, you know,” Ms Taua-Gordon says. “We expect excellence in everything we do.”

The AUT competition saw schools signing the national anthem and fitted in well with the unit’s methodology.

“We do lots of trilingual stuff all the time. They speak in English, we speak in Maori and they sign.

“If you ask any child in our whanau how many official languages there are in our country, they’ll all answer three.”

The unit does have a deaf child and she says when students are signing it helps to reinforce what they’re learning in Maori.

All of the teachers helped the students to sign. And she says the students ability to sign is a benefit. The five to 11-year-olds all sign throughout their day’s education.

Te Korowai o te Aroha’s entry was recorded around the school.

Ms Taua-Gordon says that while she was editing the video, overlaying the soundtrack, they realised that they’d signed too slowly for the suggested version of the anthem.

“So I found a Dennis Marsh and it was in English and Maori and we whacked that on as a backing track,” she says. “Lots of our families like him.”

She says all she was really expecting from the video was a little bit of recognition.

And that the competition really spoke to the unit’s emphasis on inclusivity.

The school has been operating as a trilingual unit for nearly two years as they’ve strived to ensure that all their students are able to participate in the class.

“No matter what shape, size, colour, anything, we like to think all the kids know that they’re all special,” Ms Morunga says.

The more we understand about people the less fearful we become – Maori Week

I believe that the more we understand about people and their cultures the less fearful we become. After my last blog I got really interested in the Maori week so thought I would share some Maori words with you, as well as some information about the language itself.

Māori language is a traditionally oral language. Its written form has developed over the last two centuries. Its role has become more important with the growth of Māori-medium (Māori immersion) education and the regeneration of Māori language.

A standard written form of Māori language continues to be developed.

Tohutō – Macrons

One of the key features of written Māori is the macron. A macron is a small horizontal line placed above a vowel to indicate a long vowel sound e.g. Māori, tohutō (macron), rōpū (group). It is a pronunciation aid and is particularly useful for helping learners of the language become familiar with stress, intonation and emphasis.

The macron is also a spelling convention which in some cases has the effect of changing the meaning of a word e.g.

matua = father
mātua = parents
panga = puzzle
pānga = effect
maro = apron
mārō = hard
ana = cave
anā = there
pahu = bark
pahū = explode



Kia ora
Tēnā koe
Hello (to one person)
Tēnā kōrua
Hello (to two people)
Tēnā koutou
Hello (to three or more people)

Inquiring Question

Kei te pēhea koe?
How are you?


Kei te pai ahau
I’m good
Ka nui te ora
I’m great
Me koe?
And you?


Haere rā
Goodbye (to someone leaving)
E noho rā
Goodbye (to someone staying)
Ka kite anō
See you again
Hei konā
See you later
and finally….
The term tangi or tangihanga describes a Māori approach to the process of grieving for someone who has died. Practices and protocols can differ from tribe to tribe. However, it is a common process that enables people to express their sense of loss, not only for their loved one, but for those who have passed before them.Traditionally, tangihanga were held at marae. Nowadays, tangihanga are also held at private residences and funeral parlours. Tangihanga usually take place over a number of days, beginning when the person passes away and continuing after the burial, until the rituals and ceremonies of grieving are complete.

Before the burial, it is common for the coffin to be left open so mourners can touch, kiss, hug and cry over the tūpāpaku (corpse) to express their grief.

A common belief is that the tūpāpaku should never be left alone after death, so close family members (the whānau pani) stay with the tūpāpaku throughout the tangihanga, supported by older female relatives.

People often travel long distances to attend tangihanga to show their respect for the person who has died and to offer support to the family. It is also common practice to offer a koha, usually money, to the marae or family.

If the tangihanga is at a marae, those who attend are welcomed with pōwhiri  during which speeches are made as if talking directly to the tūpāpaku. This fits with the common belief that the spirit remains with the body until the time of the burial.

If the tūpāpaku has links to a number of tribes or sub tribes, debate may arise between relatives over where the tūpāpaku is to be buried. While talks can be heated and stressful, such debate is a sign of love and respect for the tūpāpaku.

for more information this was my source of inspiration http://www.korero.maori.nz/forlearners/protocols/tangi.html

The more we understand about people the less fearful we become….Liz Foxwell

Maori Language Week is 23-29 July 2012 – New Zealand

A date for your diaries Maori Language Week is 23-29 July 2012.

For more information see below. If you have a language week or bilingual day, or even a language day please share the information with us here.

He Whakapapa Reo Māori – Short History of Māori language

Māori is the foundation language of Aotearoa, the ancestral language of tangata whenua (indigenous people) and a taonga guaranteed protection under the Treaty of Waitangi.

During the 19th and early 20th century Māori language was the main language of communication. However, the establishment of schools saw Māori children being taught almost entirely in English. An English language only policy was often strictly enforced through physical punishment.

Urban migration

During the 1940s-1970s Māori migrated from rural communities to urban centres. English language was seen by many Māori as the key to wealth, increased social standing and better standards of living.

Many Māori parents stopped speaking Māori to their children. This, together with policies which favoured English as the dominant language, resulted in a massive language loss within the Māori population who moved from speaking Māori to English.

Language initiatives

By the 1970s, it was predicted that Māori would soon be a language without native speakers. This caused grave concern among Māori, resulting in initiatives to revitalise the language including Te Ātaarangi (a language learning system), kōhanga reo (Māori language pre-schools), kura kaupapa Māori (Māori language schools) and Māori broadcasting.

Māori Language Act

In 1987, the Māori Language Act declared Māori to be an official language of New Zealand and established the Māori Language Commission – Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori to promote the growth of Māori language.


Recent research suggests that the number of Māori speakers has stabilised with approximately 130,000 Māori indicating some ability to speak Māori. This represents about 25% of the Māori population. However, the number of fluent speakers is significantly less and the situation requires concentrated efforts to ensure that the language survives. It is hoped that the establishment of the Māori Television Service along with other initiatives in recent years will bear further fruits for the revitalisation of Māori language.

read more here http://community.scoop.co.nz/2012/06/bilingual-and-reo-maori-booklets-available-at-countdown/  or

Bilingual and reo Māori booklets produced for Māori Language Week and available at Countdown supermarkets Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori has released two new phrase booklets to help promote the theme of Arohatia te Reo for this year’s Māori Language Week taking place from 23-29 July. “Typically we produce just the one bilingual booklet for Māori Language Week, but given a key message for language revitalisation is language use, we would be remiss in not providing something aimed at intermediate level speakers and above, hence the two booklets”, says Chief Executive, Glenis Philip-Barbara.

“The bilingual booklet has three main themes aimed at helping people to support the Arohatia te Reo theme – Learn it, live it, love it.  The Learn it section covers pronunciation and other basics of the language; phrases for around the home, coupled with photographic lay outs of various home settings with Māori language labels form the main content in the Live it section; while the Love it section contains an A-Z of fun Māori language activities” says Glenis Philip-Barbara.

“The reo Māori booklet, is for intermediate speakers, and provides tips and hints about how speakers can improve their language skills through correct and informed use of whakataukī; kīwaha and kupu whakarite, but also has a key message of keeping the language simple, and aligned with Māori thought.  The booklet also contains dialogue scenarios based on travelling in the car to illustrate how this can be achieved in everyday communications” says Glenis Philip-Barbara. “Our partners – Te Puni Kōkiri and the Human Rights Commission, have been working with us to promote and celebrate the week throughout the country.  We have produced additional resources also that support whānau and organisations using Māori language in their everyday activities,” says Glenis Philip-Barbara.

Resources for Māori Language Week 2012 include bilingual and reo Māori full colour booklets Arohatia te Reo, with helpful phrases, words and activities for a range of settings in the community; posters; stickers; wristbands; balloons; iron-on tee shirt transfers and more.

“We also have a range of resources that can be downloaded from the website.  These include the photographic lay-outs of the home settings with labels from the bilingual booklet; a word-find; and a template for listing your tribal connections in both English and Māori” says Glenis Philip-Barbara. For any organisations wanting bulk orders, a high resolution print file can be provided upon request for you to print your own quantities. You can also have your own logo on the outside back cover. An order form can be downloaded from the Kōrero Māori website: http://www.korero.maori.nz/resources/shop.html Please note that resources are being provided for free again this year but at limited quantities.  Those quantities are indicated on the order form.  Orders will be processed on a first in, first served basis. However if you’re only after a singular bilingual booklet for yourself, you can pick up a free copy from your local Countdown supermarket.  These will be available at Countdown throughout Māori Language Week. “It’s great to have Countdown supermarkets on board again this year helping to support Māori Language Week.  Accessibility to the phrase booklet, a core item for Māori Language Week promotions, has now greatly improved thanks to their participation and we hope this will also lead to increased language use in our communities” says Glenis Philip-Barbara. For more information visit: http://www.korero.maori.nz/news/media2012.html