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Te wāra wero . . . Waitaki District Libraries kairuruku o tikangarua (bicultural co-ordinator) Lisa Potaka Ross shows some of the pledges that have been made by people to improve their te reo Māori. PHOTO: GUS PATTERSON

Waitaki residents have challenged themselves to improve their use of te reo Māori during Te Wiki o te Reo Māori (Maori Language Week).

This week, people have been posting public pledges to use or learn more te reo Maori on a wāra wero (challenge wall) at the Oamaru Library.

Waitaki District Libraries kairuruku o tikangarua (bicultural co-ordinator) Lisa Potaka Ross said because of Covid-19 Alert Level 2 restrictions, the usual events, such as kapa haka performances, could not go ahead.

But the library staff wanted to do something to keep te reo Māori in the community discourse.

A lot of people had made public pledges, such as using Māori greetings, or learning colours in te reo Māori.

“We wanted to get our community to do something, no matter how small or large,” Ms Ross said.

“For some people, it will be the first time they say

“This is about doing something, rather than passively looking at a display.”

As well as the challenge wall, there were Māori waiata (songs) played at the library and bilingual whare whare (bingo) sessions.