Kia Manawaroa Friday 23 September 2022

Kia ora e te whānau, e mihi mahana ana ki a koutou katoa.

First and foremost, we would like to mihi to everyone who was involved with the many events and celebrations for Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori 2022. Mīharo katoa! 

In this issue, we recap Te Petihana Reo Māori 50th Anniversary Event and we’re celebrating Deane Gage and his journey “from a freezing worker into an academic, and a former Bounty bar into a chocolate-layered Moro”.

With only one week left to go before the school break, we’ve got school holidays ideas galore with a special focus on things to do that are free or cheap.

We’ve got the details on the Awards for Gifted Learners worth up to $5,000, and Countdown wants you to check out te reo at their self-service kiosks.

We’ve got an update on the interactive new website developed by Te Taura Whiri i Te Reo Māori aimed at capturing the stories of our people and our fight for the revitalisation of te reo. 

And finally, we’ve got the latest updates on COVID-19 following the changes that were announced on 12 September 2022, and wellbeing support for whānau as well.

We hope you enjoy this issue, and we look forward to catching up with you in week 1 of term 4.

If you’ve got any feedback or story ideas you’d like to share, check out the Kia Manawaroa feedback form or email

As always, please share us with your whānau and friends and encourage them to subscribe for the latest pānui straight to their inbox.

Kia kaha e hoa mā!
Nā mātou te tīma o Kia Manawaroa

Reflecting on Te Petihana Reo Māori 50th Anniversary Event

Collage of images from the Petihana Reo Māori 50th Anniversary Event

Every year Te Wiki o te Reo Māori continues to grow and gain momentum, but this year was extra special as it marked the 50th anniversary of Te Petihana (the Māori Language Petition) being presented on the steps of Parliament in 1972. 

This year also marks 40 years since the first Kōhanga Reo was opened, and 50 years since the start of Te Matatini. 

On Wednesday 14 September, Te Petihana Reo Māori 50th Anniversary Event was held at Parliament, drawing in huge crowds to honour those that demanded change. 

Images of various people at the Petihana 50th commemoration events

An exhibition featuring the original Te Petihana Reo Māori was unveiled at the National Library the morning of the event, featuring the original petition alongside photographs of significant moments along the journey of te reo Māori developing to an official language of Aotearoa.

An exhibition featuring the original Te Petihana Reo Māori opened at the National Library on Wednesday morning. Credit:

An exhibition featuring the original Te Petihana Reo Māori opened at the National Library on Wednesday morning. Credit:

There were lots of other events across the motu celebrating Te Wiki o te reo Māori, including ‘Huihuingā Wahine’ in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland which celebrated some of the country’s leading and emerging wāhine Māori, multiple events in Ngā Motu New Plymouth to commemorate Hana Te Hemara of Ngā Tamatoa, and Te Whanganui-a-Tara played host to the latest instalment from Tāme Iti, ‘I Will Not Speak Māori’.

Did you attend any of these events? How did you celebrate Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori 2022? Write to us at to let us know - and don’t forget to send pics!

(Photos taken at Te Petihana Reo Māori 50th Anniversary Event at Parliament on Wednesday 14 September were taken by Adrian Heke, courtesy of Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori and Te Mātāwai.)

Te Reo took me from freezing worker to academic

Left: Deane Gage holding chickens. Right: Deane by the sea diving gear.
Deane Gage says, “Te reo Māori has turned a freezing worker into an academic, and a former Bounty bar into a chocolate-layered Moro.” Photo: Christel Yardley:

Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori was also a great opportunity for people to share their own personal te reo journey, ngā piki me ngā heke, the ups and the downs.

One of those stories came from former freezing worker turned academic, Deane Gage. Deane’s story as a young Māori boy growing up in Christchurch in the 1980’s, struggling to understand where he fit in, resonated with a lot of Māori who were or are on their te reo Māori journey.

After playing rugby overseas, Deane returned to Aotearoa and got a job in the freezing works, working his way up from the broom to being a boner. 

Coaching his son’s under-9 rugby team, he heard tamariki speaking in te reo Māori and at the age of 44, signed up for his first te reo course, studying levels one and two at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa.

This laid the foundation which would change the course of his life. Strengthened by the support he received by his kaiako, Deane found himself emersed in te reo me te Ao Māori and realised that all the tauira in his class were on the same waka of learning. 

He continued learning Māori, completing levels three and four, and the following year levels five and six. Next was his Masters. It wasn’t easy but he pushed through.

Deane says, “Te reo Māori and education has the ability to transcend lives. I am looking to the next challenge and to complete a PhD; just imagine being called tākuta (doctor). Why not?” He continues. 

“Te reo Māori has turned a freezing worker into an academic, and a former Bounty bar into a chocolate-layered Moro.”

Read the full story on

School holiday ideas 

image of a blackboard with te words 'school holidays!' on it

Q: What do scattered shoes, empty snack packets, and unfinished creative projects have in common?

A: Absolutely nothing - except for the fact they can all be found in random locations throughout your house, car, and life over the two-week period of anarchy also known as ‘The School Holidays’.

With just one more week of kura before the holidays kick in, let’s check out some cheap and free holiday ideas:
  • Start a whānau tradition. It could be anything! One of our traditions was going to my cousin’s house, having a bonfire in our pyjamas, and telling ghost stories over a fresh plate of Aunty’s fry bread. 
  • Organise play dates with friends and cuzzies – they’ll love the extra time together, and it can be a way to share the childcare when you're working.
  • Encourage your kids to build a tent or hut using old sheets, blankets and odds and ends from around the house. 
  • Plan an ‘expedition’ – take the bus or train, or get them to map out a walking adventure to fun places in your community like the park, beach or library. Pro tip: always pack water and snacks! Also, younger kids love dressing up in costume for adventures like this.
  • Use a tarp, water, and dishwashing liquid to create an awesome water slide down the nearest hill. Pro tip: this works really well on rainy-but-warm days – but be prepared to hose the kids off outside before they get into the house as they will almost definitely be covered in actual mud.
  • Start a vegetable garden! Or find out if you have a community garden in your area you could work on.
  • Go back to your marae or visit whānau you haven’t seen for a while. School holidays are a great time to talk learn about their wider whānau and their whakapapa.
  • Start a research project with information from your local library and the National Library. The project could be about anything, from their favourite animal to their whānau history and whakapapa lines. we just mentioned.
  • The classic concert in the lounge, where kids make up a dance or a play and force their extended whānau to watch. Add in some financial literacy learning by getting them to create and sell tickets to their performance. 
  • Check out what’s on at your local library, museum and recreation centre – they almost always have free or cheap events and activities over the school holidays.
Don’t forget:
  • Bring some balance into the holidays. Organise some activities, but also have some quiet time each day where everyone does something by themselves – including you! It could be reading, drawing, yoga, meditating, or listening to an audio book.
  • Last but not least, cries of ‘I’m booored’ are okay. In fact, it’s beneficial for young brains to be bored because they’re forced to think outside the square and come up with their own ideas.
More school holiday events and activities in your area:

Activities and events in Northland, Auckland and the Coromandel
Activities and events in Hawke's Bay, Gisborne, Waikato and BOP
Activities and events in Taranaki, Manawatu and Whanganui
Activities and events in the greater Wellington region
Activities and events in Te Wai Pounamu | The South Island

Awards for Gifted Learners are open now

A girl on the left, with the text 'Awards for Gifted Learners are open now' on the right.

Awards for Gifted Learners are open now! Some people think that ‘giftedness’ is all about academic talent, but being ‘gifted’ can mean a lot of things.

In Shaelyn’s case, her gift was in designing and creating Korowai and head pieces for her school and Kapa Haka group:

“[The awards] helped me believe that I can do so much more”, says Shaelyn, student at St Mary's College Wellington and Gifted Learner Award recipient. 

For Kate, her gift was writing poetry:

“The Gifted Learners Award opened a door of opportunities for me, and I will hold it open for the generations that come after me,” says Kate, a student at Marcelin College Auckland and Gifted Learner Award recipient. 

Apply today

Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga | The Ministry of Educations wants to support your rangatahi to extend, challenge and explore their passions. 

Whether it be cultural, spiritual, musical, artistic, or academic, the options are endless!

The Awards can provide funding of up to $2,500 per individual or $5,000 per group. 

Find out more about the Awards for Gifted Learners here

Applications close 30 September. 

Countdown wants you to ‘check-out’ te reo Māori

Countdown signage reads 'Dairy' and  'kai miraka'

Countdown supermarkets now have te reo Māori available for customers at its self-service checkouts – so now you can hear ‘He matāratanga pēke!’ instead of “unexpected item in the bagging area!”.

All you have to do is click the te reo Māori button at the bottom of the touch screen and you’re good to go.   

“Our entire team is incredibly proud that not only can te reo Māori speakers now complete their shopping in their own language, but that we can use our scale and reach to help ensure te reo Māori is revitalised and used for generations to come,"  says Countdown Director of Corporate Affairs, Safety and Sustainability, Kiri Hannifin,

This new initiative has been organised in collaboration with Te Taura Whiri, and according to Kiri, Countdown will be expanding its use of te reo in its communications with customers, digital advertising, and in-store public address messages.

“We hope our efforts can help make a difference to the everyday use of te reo Māori, one of Aotearoa’s most precious taonga", says Kiri.

Stories of Te Reo: Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori

This year, Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori are inviting us all to share our stories of te reo Māori. This is the first time a timeline of this sort has charted the pivotal moments in the assaults on and revitalisation of our indigenous language. 

The website encourages others to add to the site so that the stories that are contributed can be retained for future generations. Te Taura Whiri are looking for stories, memories or actions from all New Zealanders on how they may have battled for te reo Māori.

"We encourage people, particularly young people, to ask their parents, ask their grandparents and share those stories and upload them," said Māori Language Commissioner Professor Rawinia Higgins. 

Screenshot from the website

"Whilst that protest happened 50 years ago, we're still on that journey, we still haven't reached that target of a million speakers," Higgins continues. 

"And so, it's still important to remember the past, reflect on it and see where we are at the moment, celebrate what we do have, but actually where do we need to get to next."

Now is the time to record any stories, memories, or mahi you or your whānau have done in the effort to revitalise our language. 

Share your story | Reomā
Explore stories |

Banner reads 'COVID-19 Update'

The COVID-19 Protection Framework (traffic lights) ended at 11:59pm, Monday 12 September, and some of the rules around face masks and isolation have changed.

Key changes:

  • Household contacts no longer need to isolate for 7 days
  • Masks are no longer required in most places, although you must wear a face mask in certain healthcare facilities, such as hospitals and doctors’ office.
  • It’s up to your kura or school whether they require kids to wear masks. If you’re not sure about the policy at your kura, get in touch with your kaiako or tumuaki/principal.
  • Some businesses may still ask you to wear a mask on their premises.
Note: If you test positive for COVID, you still need to self-isolate for 7 days. Start counting from Day 0, which is the day your symptoms started or when you tested positive – whichever came first.

Wearing a face mask | Unite Against COVID-19
Household Contacts | Unite Against COVID-19


Keeping safe in education spaces

Your child’s early learning service, kura, school or tertiary provider will continue to have health measures in place to help minimise transmission of COVID-19. Contact them directly if you have questions or concerns. 

COVID-19 vaccines

Everyone in Aotearoa aged 5 or over can get a free COVID-19 vaccination, no matter your visa or citizenship status.

Got a question, or want to book a vaccine over the phone? Talk to the COVID Vaccination Healthline 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week on 0800 28 29 26

This health line has NZ Relay Services for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. There are also translation services in 40 languages.

Information about vaccinations (Pfizer and Novovax) for children | Unite Against COVID-19

Whānau wellbeing and support

Your wellbeing – and that of your whānau – is the most important thing of all. Remember, you can't look after anyone else if you're not looking after yourself. If you feel like you might need support, please don't struggle alone. It’s braver to reach out than it is to suffer in silence.  

Call or text 1737 for 24/7 access to a free, trained counsellor or check out the links below for more options:  

Top ways to look after your mental wellbeing
COVID-19 services and support contacts sheet

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