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Wednesday, 22 May 2019 10:46 pm

Communities proud of bilingual status, but say it’s not a race

Sep 25th, 2018 | By | Category: Lead Story, News

Te Reo speaking communities agree they don’t need a “competition” to prove they are a bilingual society.

Rotorua was officially declared the first official bilingual city in April this year but other communities dispute that saying they were first.

People are welcomed into Otaki with a Te Reo greeting “Nau Mai Haere Mai” which reads “Welcome to Sunny Otaki.”

Chairman of Rotorua tribe Te Tatau O Tearoa, Te Taru White says it doesn’t matter who was first as long as they are all part of the movement to normalise Te Reo.

“We are joining in this whole movement to normalise the use of the Reo on the street, anywhere and everywhere,” he says.

Kāpiti Coast District Council agrees saying that they don’t need a competition.

Mayor K Gurunathan says the township is not looking to be officially recognised as a bilingual town because they already are.

“One of the key things that I got from Ōtaki, was that they don’t have to go into a competition to prove they are bilingual.”

Owner of the Four Quare in Otaki Kalpesh greets people in Te Reo Maori.

“I think that is a measure of what a bilingual town is, that they are already comfortably where they want to be,” he says.

Ōtaki local Keakea Rikihana says we need to korero in Te Reo around people and hope they pick it up.

“What we learn at the Wānanga is that when people are learning you don’t put them down, because they will shut off and they won’t want to do anything more.”





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