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Cook Islands Language Week

Sunday 29/07/2018

Te ‘Epetoma o te reo Māori Kūki ’Āirani (Cook Islands Language Week) runs from Sunday 29 July – Saturday 4 August. The theme for 2018 is Kia ngākau parau, kia rangarangatu to tatou reo Māori kūki 'Āirani: Be proud of our reo Māori kūki 'Airani and protect its future! Keeping a language alive means using it. If you’re fluent or nearly fluent, encourage friends and family to speak it as much as they can and incorporate it into everyday life. Cook Islands Māori has a number of distinct dialects, the most widely used of which is Rarotongan. For beginners, here are some phrases you can start with.  These have the same pronunciation as other Pacific languages, including te reo Māori (NZ Māori)

Hello                    Kia orana

Welcome             Turou / Aere Mai

Please                  Ine

Thank you           Meitaki

Goodbye              Aere ra (to person going) / E noo ake ra (to person staying)

Good Luck           Kia Manuia

And this video helps you with the phrases and pronunciation for an introductory conversation:


You can hear Cook Islands Maori spoken on Planet FM on the Cook Islands Health programme and be sure to catch this week’s episode of Books and Beyond, which will celebrating on Sunday July 29 at 9.35pm on 104.6FM. Here are some other ways to get involved in the language and culture of the Cook Islands:

Celebrate at Auckland Museum

Join Auckland Museum to celebrate the unique language and culture of the Cook Islands. On Wednesday 1st August, enjoy traditional stories told through instruments like the pate (drum) and the ukulele. On Saturday 4th August, enjoy vibrant performances from school and community groups. To find out more and to book a tour of the Museum’s Cook Islands collection, visit 

Tivaevae Quilting Classes

Later this month Selwyn Community Education (based at Selwyn College, Kohimarama) offers a six-week course in Tivaevae Cook Island Quilting; the traditional art form which is well-suited for making cushions, pillow cases or table cloths. The course runs from 6:00-8:00pm each Wednesday from August 15 and costs $95. This includes materials for the first night where students will work on a group project and learn essential skills. Register here

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