July 2015: “As the rohe’s largest distinctly bicultural tertiary education provider, Waiariki Institute of Technology is always ready to support any kaupapa that spreads awareness of both Māori Language Week or te reo. With over 50% of our student body identifying as Māori, this opportunity provides the perfect ability to encourage the use of Māori language and a healthy lifestyle to students, staff and our wider community, both on and off campus,” says Waiariki Institute of Technology HOD for Health and Sport, Amanda Heapy.
Belinda Bennett from Go360 talks about kiwi pride and te reo being fun, “we are passionate about keeping the Maori culture alive through our native language, we are kiwi proud and like to show that anyway we can, we find te reo fun and heart-warming.”
Manager of Anytime Fitness, Justin Heurea says that it’s important to their members as well as adding value to their business, “We’re conversation we're keen to get involved because as a club we try to operate as a community within a community and having many Maori members it is important. Even as a kiwi or a person living in New Zealand, I think its adds value to be aware of and take interest in the native language of this country. Also, it's a great opportunity to learn, have fun and promote member interaction.”
For Steve Gardiner at Golds Gym on Old Taupo Rd, as well as implementing te reo at his gym, it also resonates with him on a personal level, “I’m keen to do what I can. I have just been learning the Lord’s prayer in Maori so it’s something that I’m interested in.”
Leanna Morehu, Manager for Healthy Families Rotorua says that it’s their job to build a connect between those working in the exercise space so that collaboration can occur, “whether they are individual personal trainers or gyms with hundreds of members, we want to support practitioners by looking at ways in which they can find a common ground and promote what they’re doing out into the community. Te Wiki o te reo gives them a perfect opportunity to do this.”
She also says that Te Wiki o te Reo Maori is for everyone and that being in a region where the third of the population are of Maori descent, promoting te reo will go a long way to build good relationships out in the community.
“Ultimately our communities aim to be resilient, healthy and supportive. By aligning the Healthy Families kaupapa to other projects and programs that fall outside of nutrition, exercise, smoking cessation and responsible alcohol consumption, Healthy Families Rotorua becomes more aware of other issues that impact on our families abilities to lead healthier lives.”
Te Wiki o te Reo Maori runs from July 27 – August 2, 2015.