Te Ataarangi to empower te reo Māori in regions

By Mānia Clarke

National forefront Language Revitilisation programme, Te Ataarangi are looking to empower their regions to better deliver their unique language-learning technique. 

Te Ataarangi expert Rahera Shortland says the move will encourage more non-speakers of te reo to want to learn.

Shortland says passing on the language to this generation is still at the forefront.

“We will look to give the autonomy back to our regions,” she said, “so they can develop themselves and their leaders to revitilise the reo.”

And the new direction will allow the eleven Te Ataarangi regions to source funding from Te Mātāwai to fulfill their goals.

“There is a process to apply for funds to Te Mātāwai that needs to be successfully completed, so the governing body will go out to our regions to support and teach them how to do that,” says Shortland.

Established 36 years ago, Te Ataarangi is known for the use of coloured cuisenaire rods as a learning tool that has supported more than 50,000 people to speak Māori. 

Te Rūnanga member Maira Pihema says there are still challenges.

“Only a few people are proficient in using our cuisenaire rod teaching method unique to Te Ataarangi,” says Pihema.

“So the priority for us to source those who are passionate to teach.”

Discussions will continue ahead of their national gathering in November.