Every year since 1975 New Zealand has marked Māori Language Week. This is a time for all New Zealanders to celebrate te reo Māori (the Māori language) and to use more Māori phrases in everyday life. In 2013 Māori Language Week is from 1–7 July; the theme is ‘Ngā Ingoa Māori – Māori names’. This is part of the underlying theme of Māori Language Week, ‘Arohatia te Reo – cherish the language’. This year marks the 26th anniversary of the establishment of Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori (the Māori Language Commission).
Te reo Māori is undergoing a resurgence and more people speak the language. There are Māori-language schools, Māori radio stations, and a Māori television channel. There was a time when some people objected to hearing Māori greetings such as ‘Kia ora’. The campaign to revive the language has been a long one.
The future of te reo Māori was the subject of a claim before the Waitangi Tribunal in 1985. The tribunal’s recommendations were far-reaching. Māori became an official language of New Zealand in 1987, alongside English. Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori was established in the same year to promote te reo. Along with the Human Rights Commission and Te Puni Kōkiri, it plays a key role in the annual Māori Language Week.