Waikato University’s been at the pumping heart of the region’s contributions to Te Wiki o te Reo Māori, and in the lead as part of the country’s top Te Reo town.

Māori Television is on the road, with the University hosting presenter Miss Kihi and the crew on campus on Wednesday. The show is live on TV and live streamed and on demand on the internet, gathering people keen to speak te reo in five main centres. The judging is on the basis of phrases and words used, so it covers not just quantity, but quality.

Quality te reo Māori is something Waikato has in abundance, with speakers including Professor Pou Temara, Professor Rangi Matamua and Associate Professor Te Kahautu Maxwell amongst those interviewed. Miss Kihi appeared at moments a bit in awe of Professor Pou, telling him how much more she had to learn with her te reo. Waiata echoed across the campus with student rõpū Te Waiora performing, bringing a big thumbs up from the shows producers.

The campus put on a blindingly beautiful spring day, ironically hitting the only slightly off-note; the cameras were over-heating in the sunshine, creating a scramble among the crew to do some dramatic camera changes and cool things down.

Professor Rangi Matamua has simple advice on how people can ensure the survival of the language. “Kōrerotia te reo Māori - use the Māori language!”

The tally between competing towns so far this week:

  • Wellington     114
  • Tauranga       227
  • Waikato         277
Miss Kihi interviewing Associate Professor Te Kahautu Maxwell.

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