From Al WILLIAMS - The Timaru Herald via stuff
"Arowhenua's community is celebrating Te Reo Maori with a week of workshops which have attracted people from all over the country.
More than 100 learners and speakers of Maori language have converged on the marae to upskill and put Te Reo into practice with others.
The community is hosting the second annual Kura Reo Kai Tahu (language school of Ngai Tahu) – a project facilitated by Ngai Tahu in an effort to bring generations of the tribe together to speak their dialect in an immersion environment.
Te Runanga O Ngai Tahu representative Charisma Rangipunga said the event was part of the tribe's language revitalisation strategy.
"We invite members of the tribe to come together to practise, upskill and learn new language skills. We endeavour to get to all our marae."
Two pools of people were taking part, with kaumatua taking the lead role.
"All students meet with elders in the morning for an open forum session.
"It is part of them passing on collective memories of their elders," Ms Rangipunga said.
Afternoon classes were dedicated to teaching Ngai Tahu proverbs, archival material, transcripts, dialect and composition lessons, she said.
One of the key components was being able to learn traditional language and to apply it in ways it could be used on the marae.
A team of 50 parents and 30 children had come together with the support of the Arowhenua community, she said.
"Their heritage, their traditions and their ancestors are something they can be proud of."
Arowhenua marae manager Mandy Home said the week had been very busy for the marae. Challenges had included catering for 100 people.
"This week is very important for our people.
"It's a resurgence of the language but it's also about teaching the children the language and taking ownership of their Ngai Tahutanga.
Whanau had given up their free time to uphold the Mana and Aroha of Te Runaka O Arowhenua, she said.
"Finally, Haere tonu Huirapa."Saving our language = saving our people.