140 staff at Heritage NZ to learn te reo

Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga and Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori have joined together to promote and revitalise te reo Māori, whilst celebrating NZ's heritage.

The partnership will see an increase use of te reo Māori across the organisation including commentaries and through signage across the country. 

HNZPT and the Māori Language Commission came together today to sign an MoU with the goal to help revitalise te reo Māori.

Te Taura Whiri CEO Ngahiwi Apanui says, "The benefits of this MOU firstly, will mean an expansion of the Māori language and the creation of new terminology they can use within their day to day work.  Secondly, a new language programme to help staff learn and converse in te reo."

Today HNZPT launched its Pouhere Reo programme which aims to train all 140 of its staff members nationwide in basic and conversational te reo.

Senior Māori Heritage Policy Manager Trevor Himona says, “We've got a goal to embed te reo as part of our organisation so te reo Māori is seen, heard and is visible across each part of our organisation and that we are able to incorporate that into a whole range of our publications."

"It's all about also enabling our staff to increase their capability in te reo to help us work with iwi, hapū, whānau and kaitiaki in regards to wāhi tapu and wāhi tūpuna."

Himona says the Crown agency looks to expand its reo goals to the nation, that will include bilingual signage on all 43 of its nationally significant heritage properties.

"We are really lucky to work in the archaeological space so we have a statutory role in that so it's an opportunity to take a lead in that space and help revitalise te reo and contribute to the lexicon of the Māori language by creating spreading the use of kupu Māori."

HNZPT begin its first Pouhere Reo classes for staff in Wellington on July 10. It will then be rolled out to all staff in Auckland, Kerikeri, Tauranga and Christchurch branches in September and October.