Alana Thomas* Kia kaha te reo Māori is the theme for this year’s Te Wiki o te reo Māori / Māori Language Week which is held from 9 – 15 September 2019. Literally translated, ‘Kia Kaha’ means to ‘be strong’, so when we say ‘Kia Kaha te Reo Māori’ we’re saying – ‘Let’s make the Māori language strong’. Here at LexisNexis we want to play our part in making the Māori language strong within the law sector too.
Over the years, the desire to learn te reo Māori has grown in the law sector and many offices, firms, practitioners and the Judiciary are leading the way by implementing the use of te reo Māori within their work environments. It is great to see that so many of us involved in the law, already recognise the need to understand te reo Māori with even more wanting to learn and support the growth of te reo Māori in our industry. Ka mutu pea!
We still have a lot to do and a long way to go to ensure te reo Māori is in a state of strength in the law community. Using te reo Māori in your routine conversations is key to ensuring it becomes a regular part of your day.
However, for an industry that has a distinct language in and of itself, it can often be hard to implement te reo Māori phrases that are not readily available or use words that cannot be found in the general Māori dictionary. So how do we make te reo Māori strong within the law? LexisNexis has partnered with lawyers, Alana Thomas and Corin Merrick who have written a te reo Māori handbook designed specifically for those practising within the law environment.
Kia kakano rua te ture, is aimed at encouraging those working in the law to use te reo Māori more in their practices.
The authors believe that normalising te reo Māori will not only benefit us as practitioners but will also have a positive impact on those around us. Te reo Māori is not just the transfer of words, it is also the transfer of customs and traditions, and in turn the Māori world view.
The book is divided in chapters dedicated to specific jurisdictions of law, and also include the reo Māori you may use in an office space, at a marae Court sitting plus the reo Māori that you can use at home with your family and children.
This book will be available in October 2019.
Kia kaha te reo Māori i te ao o te ture! Let’s make the Māori language strong within the law!
*Alana Thomas is a University of Auckland law graduate who has experience in numerous legal areas and has been involved in Māori legal issues representing clients in the Māori Land Court and Appellate Court as well as representing a number of iwi, hapū, whānau claimants in Waitangi Tribunal historical and urgent inquiry processes. She is also Co-ordinating Counsel in a number of these inquiries. She is a member of Te Hunga Roia Māori o Aotearoa (The Māori Law Society), past president of Te Rākau Ture (Māori Law Students Association) and currently assisting in the establishment of Wahine Māori in the Law.