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Māori Language Celebrations Throughout Christchurch

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Information contained in media releases is correct at the time, but may change after publication. Please check the Library News page for latest updates about library services or contact us, ph: 9417923.

16 July 2008

Māori Language Week will be celebrated at several Christchurch City Council community facilities next week (21 - 27 July).

Christchurch Art Gallery Director Jenny Harper says as well as a lecture by Te Reo Māori advocate Dr Te Huirangi Waikerepuru, well known for his work among Māori encouraging the learning and use of their language, the gallery will introduce a variety of permanent and temporary initiatives.

“In recognition of Māori Language Week, we have produced a bilingual brochure highlighting four relevant works within the gallery.

“It will also be free to use our Te Reo Māori audio guide throughout the week,” Ms Harper says.

Permanent initiatives to be introduced from Māori Language Week onwards include gallery tour and closing announcements in Māori, and greetings in Māori by gallery tour guides, who have been learning te reo.

A variety of Māori Language Week activities are also planned at the city’s libraries.

“Te Reo Māori is a taonga that gives our country its distinct and cultural identity,” Christchurch City Council Learning Events Coordinator Ainslee McGill says.

“This is why it deserves our protection and nourishment - for Māori to thrive as an everyday language, we must encourage it to be used in our homes and communities as much as possible.”

Master carver George Edwards Kaumatua of Te Runaka o Ōtautahi will demonstrate his craft in the Ngā Pounamu Māori Centre on the second floor of the Central Library, on Monday 21 July from 10am until 4pm.

Basic Māori language workshops will be presented by local group Ngā Peka Mātauranga o Waitaha in the Ngā Pounamu Māori Centre on Tuesday 22 July, and at the Linwood Library on Friday 25 July. Both sessions will run from 10am until 12pm.

A new carving ‘Kaitiakitanga’ by local artist Gavin Britt will be unveiled at the Bishopdale Library on Friday 25 July between 1.30pm and 2.30pm.

Kapa Haka groups will also perform at community libraries througout Māori Language Week. For more information visit or phone 941 7923.