Plunket celebrates Te Wiki o te Reo Māori

Plunket is proud to celebrate Te Wiki o te Reo Māori (21-27 July), with Plunket people across the country among several thousand New Zealanders taking part and increasing their kete of knowledge in te reo.

This marks the fourth year Plunket, New Zealand’s largest provider of services to support the well-being of children under five, has officially participated in Te Wiki o te Reo Māori.

Sonya Rimene Plunket GM Maori Health

Sonya Rimene, Plunket’s Māori Health General Manager said participation was growing every year, and staff and volunteers were finding new ways of marking the week: “It’s exciting to hear how Plunket people around the country are celebrating and having fun with Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. Everyone is celebrating in their own way.”

She said that the week was part of a year-round effort to improve te reo: “We provide services to approximately 10,500 Māori pēpi in their kainga, and it’s important we connect with their whānau through speaking te reo. We can always learn more, and Te Wiki o te Reo Māori is an opportunity for all at Plunket to strengthen our skills.”

Events range from clinical leaders in Auckland texting the kupu o te wiki to nurses and health workers in their team, to the Bay of Plenty team hosting an event about Matariki, with guest speakers from the Māori Health Team at the Whakatane District Health Board. Plunket’s Bay of Plenty Clinical Leader, Annie Fisher said: “Staff learn their own pepeha and practiced these as a group. Our guest speakers talked about how we as New Zealanders have the responsibility to protect the Māori language and use it daily. As clinical leaders we are going to encourage this with our staff.”

Last year, Plunket was honoured as a nominee by Te Taurawhiri i te Reo for its innovation in building Plunket’s Te Reo Māori capability. “We were proud to receive the nomination, and this is the opportunity to do more!” said Ms Rimene.

She said the Plunket team in Waikato was one example of a team doing more – by celebrating activities throughout the month. The month of activities started with an exercise for staff to name 18 parts of the body in te reo, and equipping all Plunket Waikato cars with CDs produced by Plunket Waikato, Ririki and Radio Tainui for staff to learning te reo using waiata.

And while the adults in Plunket are increasing their knowledge of te reo, some tamariki are showing they are faster learners than the grown-ups. Michelle McConnell, Community Support Coordinator at Plunket in East Christchurch said her four year-old daughter Zoe picked up Te Reo “…insanely fast at Kohanga Reo, while I picked up little bits here and there at a snail's pace. One day she was helping me practice, and laughed at me when I said ‘he rakau ahau’ - that is a tree. I asked why, and she laughed again and said ‘Mummy – you said ‘I am a tree.’”

Find out more about Plunket’s celebration of Te Wiki o te Reo Maori at

Notes to editors

Plunket people across the country are celebrating Te Wiki o te reo Māori across the country by:

  • Adorning their work places and community centres with posters, stickers and signs with words in te reo Māori and English
  • Sending in stories about how they are celebrating Te Wiki o te reo Māori to Sonya Rimene, General Manager of Māori Health Services at Plunket. Prizes will be awarded for the best story, most innovative ways of learning te reo Māori and funniest photo.
  • Getting in to the spirit of the kaupapa (theme) of this year’s celebrations - Te Kupu o te Wiki – signing up to receive the word of the week.
  • Playing charades in teams using the 50 kupu
  • Running a cup song tutorial (pitch perfect) using instructions in te reo Māori


  • Facebook – inspired by Te Kupu o te Wiki, Plunket is posting te Kupu o te Rā – word of the day, relating to parents and children for our Facebook friends and followers at
  • Twitter – we are posting Te Kupu o te Wiki for the coming 50 weeks.
  • Plunket people are often on the move – so Auckland Central team’s clinical leaders are texting te Kupu o te Rā each morning to the nurses and health workers in their team, many of whom are out in the community.

About Plunket

For over a century Plunket has been giving New Zealand parents the support they need to nurture healthy, happy kiwi babies. Plunket’s vision is Ma te mahi ngatahi, e puawai ai a tatou tamariki – Together, the best start for every child.

Plunket is a not-for-profit organisation and is New Zealand’s largest provider of services to support the health and development of children under five, including 11,000 Māori pēpi.

Plunket is dedicated to working with parents and communities to ensure that New Zealand children get the best start in life. Plunket’s services help families nationwide, through over 300 branches, mobile clinics and a free phone service PlunketLine, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (0800 933 922).

Plunket services are available free to families in New Zealand with children aged 0 to 5 and include ririki / parent education resources based on Maori tikanga, kaiāwhina / healthworkers who provide care to whānau. As registered nurses with a postgraduate qualification, Plunket nurses are able to offer high standards of expertise and a range of services to families.

Tags: 0 Comments Posted by Jen Riches on 25 July 2014

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