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Maori Language Week - By Daniela Nicole Puga Cerda

Ko tōku reo tōku ohooho, ko tōku reo tōku māpihi maurea.

My language is my awakening, my language is the window to my soul.

Language is more than just a means of communication. It is how we build a harmonious civilization with working parts. Which is why we cannot let the Maori language be forgotten. This is an exciting time for all New Zealanders as we are in the age of cultural revitalization. One of it’s initiatives is to celebrate Te Reo Māori (the Māori language) and to use more Māori phrases in our everyday life.

We celebrated Maori Language week with the lovely Anshu and Samantha organizing the day with different activities such as Picture Memory, Arts and Crafts (Poster Making), Pepa-Toka-kutikuti, Matau/Maui and Ta-tou Ta-tou I.

Picture Memory

Picture Memory is a game led by the amazing John, Jill, Fateh, Palam and Milet. In Picture Memory, the students are organized into groups and each group has a time limit to find each Maori picture pair. The group that has the most pairs wins! Each Winner Group got to pick out delicious lollies for themselves. What fun was this activity, each class was lively and competitive. A remarkable success for these wonderful leaders who brought their A-game to this activity!

Poster for Maori Language Day

The arts and Crafts session was led by the awesome Cheryll, Ritika, Mary, and Daniela (yours Truly). We organized the tables and chairs into groups of four and numbered them in Maori Tahi, Rua, Toru, and Wha. Each class came with a spark of creativity and created beautiful posters. After each class, we picked the best posters and hung them up to display. During the break, many people went into the class to admire the little art Gallery we had created. As one of the leaders of this group, we worked harmoniously together, and I hope to work with them again.


Facilitating Pepa-Toka-kutikuti were the astounding Kevin, Krutika, Ankit, Roseberry and Sarmila Pepa-Toka-kutikuti is the Maori Version of Paper-Scissors-Rock with a twist, instead you use your whole body to gesture the paper-scissors-rock. With hands up for Pepa, Hands on hips for Toka, and hands in front of you for Kutikuti. The team leader will tell you to start the game and each group should shout together repeating Pepa-Toka-Kuti-Kuti, at least 3 times with action. After that, each team should shout with the one word that they have chosen with action. Each member should be involved while shouting with the same word that your team has decided to say, if any of the members are unfamiliar with the word picked by their team members or do not take part in the shouting with the team members, they will lose the game and suffer the consequences. The consequences being that they danced in front of the whole class to dances like the duck dance, Gangnam Style, and many other fun dances. They were the loudest group of them all, such passion for the game! Good Work Team!


Matau/Maui was led by the fabulous Vilna, Rohit, Chadani and Harman. Matau/Maui is a game that involves listening skills and speed. Matau means right in Maori, and Maui means left in Maori, while Hikoi means "walk." They will form one big circle, and each player will have a pool noodle. The participants will walk around, holding their noodle inside the circle for easy access. When Matau is called, a player will move to the right and catch the noodle from the person on their right. Conversely, when Maui is called, they will go to the left and catch the noodle from their left side. Not catching the noodle results in elimination. The last remaining participant will be the winner. Another activity with great reviews and much excitement. Everybody had fun learning new Maori words and brought out the competitiveness in everyone.

Ta-Tou Ta-Tou I

Ta-Tou Ta-Tou I led by the stupendous Varinder, Glenise, Jane, and Parmeet. To play Ta-Tou Ta-Tou I They must walk around before the leader shouts a certain name. The leader will shout "walk" in the Maori language, which is known as Hikoi. One of the Five Maori words is shouted by the leader, and these names are shouted in the Maori language. Each name has its own pose. After taking the pose, they must be in one group of that name, taken by the leader. Groups


  • Rangatira: Only one person is needed for this pose.

  • Marai: Marai means house and will need two people for the pose.

  • Awa: Awa is known as a river in Maori. So, they need three people for the pose.

  • Waka: Waka is known as a boat. For this, they need four people for the pose.

  • Tawa: Tawa is known as the warrior. For this, they need five people to pose.

  • If they do not find their groups for the pose, they are out.

I would like to give a shoutout to the extraordinary Traffic Control Officers Sheena, Ujjval, Anshu, and Sam! who managed the crowd and kept everyone on time. They made sure that each facilitator had a break. Extraordinary work officers!

I hope everyone who had taken part on the day really learnt the meaning and the significance of Maori Language Week and not only had fun but also inspired to start in their te reo journey.

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