In Week 8 Hillcrest High School celebrated Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. This week occurs every year in celebration of our native language. This week is a part of a larger effort to revitalise and encourage the use of Te Reo Māori across the motu. The planning for the weeks and its activities started early this term alongside our Māori council, which led to a successful week filled with activities. The week was broken up to celebrate different aspects of Māori culture. On Monday and Tuesday, we had Rā Whakataetae – competition days, on Wednesday was Rā Toi – our Art day, Thursday was kīngitanga day at Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato, and Friday was our Rā Hākari – our feasting and celebration day.
The first two days were our Rā Whakataetae. On Monday our Year 11 Te Reo Māori students created awesome activities, which were a kīngitanga game (arranging the kīngitanga monarchs in correct order) and a Māori Atua Scavenger Hunt. On Tuesday we held Musical Chairs and played Kahoots in the library. All these activities allowed students to win awesome prizes such as lollies, chocolates, and canteen vouchers.
The next day was Rā Toi. We did Tino Rangatiratanga flag decorating, a game called Māui / Matau, waiata, and Māori Karaoke. On Wednesday the canteen also sold taniwha burgers as a Te Wiki o te Reo Māori special. This was a great success, with the burgers being extremely popular amongst staff and students.
There were no activities held on Thursday due to it being the Kīngitanga day held at the Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato to celebrate the University’s history and relationship with the Kīngitanga. We had some junior and senior Te Reo Māori students attend this day.
The last day was our Rā Hākari. On this day Māori students did Tā Moko stencils and waiata. There was also another Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori special at the canteen, which was boil-up and fry bread! This was also extremely popular amongst students and staff, with the boil-up being all sold out by early lunchtime.
Some other ways we implemented the use of Te Reo Māori were by translating the canteen menu into Te Reo, creating videos to show in Hauora, and giving kīwaha to staff to teach to their students.
We also had a large jumbo prize to encourage everybody to get involved. This jumbo prize consisted of a Te Wiki o te Reo Māori t-shirt, canteen vouchers, chocolates, a Tikanga book, and lollies.
We want to send our thanks to all students and staff that got involved in Te Wiki, without you it wouldn’t have been possible. A special thank you goes to our kaiako Whāea Casey and Whāea Niki, our Māori council, students from Whānau who helped to facilitate our activities, and our awesome canteen staff Nīrai and Lynda.
Ngā mihi everyone, and kia kaha te reo Māori!