Te Taitokerau people walking the talk to keep reo Māori alive

By D'Angelo Martin

Walk the talk, keeping the Northland dialect alive! This was the first march of the year to celebrate Māori Language Week. The organisers of the event were overwhelmed with the number of people who joined in.

"People have travelled from Kaikohe, Kaitaia and even Kerikeri to support today's event," says organiser Moana-Aroha Henry. 

The Ngāpuhi dialect was heard all throughout the hīkoi. According to Henry that was the main intention. 
"The North dialect is unique to the North, It's not like we look to another iwi for support when it comes to our language. We remain to speak our dialect proudly."

Tuimaitawhiti Henare, who is a kura student from TKKM o Te Rāwhitiroa, says, "It's better than what it used to be, back then there wasn't much of a dialect that was ours. Now our native language is thriving in-between te iwi Māori."

Te Tuhi Māreikura Hopa of Ngāpuhi descent says, "It's not an easy task, to be the example for the future generation who are looking to us to lead the way. So we need to emphasize the use of our reo Māori." 

Northland youth has embraced the language. Many have become role models within the community. 

Next year, it's hoped the event is as bright and colourful as it was today.