Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson says he is proud of the innovative efforts of Te Taura Whiri i Te Reo Māori – Māori Language Commission staff which saw them win the world’s most prestigious public relations award.
Minister Jackson said the effort put in by Te Taura Whiri chief executive, Ngahiwi Apanui (pictured) and his staff, to get more than one million New Zealanders uniting to celebrate te reo Māori was a fantastic effort.
“This government has pledged to ensure one million people in New Zealand are able to speak basic te reo Māori by 2040. We all need to do our bit to ensure te reo Māori is a thriving and living language and it’s heartening to see Ngahiwi and his team making this happen,” he said.
The International Public Relations Association’s international jury named the Māori Language Moment as the winner of its supreme award, the IPRA Grand Prix for Excellence.
“The judges were moved by the way New Zealanders were able to come together behind our indigenous language, even in the middle of a global pandemic. This is an award we can all take pride in.”
“It’s ironic that 34-years ago, opponents said making te reo an official language would divide us as a country: how very wrong they were. Te reo is one of those unique touchstones that unites us, even in our darkest times. It is a taonga and quite humbling to see that the rest of the world recognises the power of te reo Māori as a way of bringing us together,” Mr Jackson said.