New Zealand celebrates Maori Language Week

Source: Xinhua| 2017-09-11 17:36:06|Editor: Yurou
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WELLINGTON, Sept. 11 (Xinhua) -- Maoris, indigenous people of New Zealand accounting for 15.4 percent of the national population, participated in traditional costumes in a parade celebrating the start of the Maori Language Week on Monday.

"Use Maori Language Week to make a change in your life that lasts well beyond the week," said Maori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell while issuing a challenge for the 42nd Maori Language Week celebrated in Wellington and other places.

"No matter what level your te reo Maori (Maori language) is, everyone should be able to think of a change they can introduce to their own lives to support more Maori in our communities," Flavell said.

The Maori population is about 723,500, according to Stats NZ, the country's statistics department.

Non-Maori people in New Zealand are also encouraged to learn the Maori language and culture. The minister said that the Maori language becoming more of a living language throughout society was an aim of the Maori Language Act 2016.

Flavell said he hoped that the Maori language "may be heard everywhere and all the time," adding, "Whatever one's fluency, the important thing is our willingness to support and breathe life into our indigenous language."