'is what will save it' - Justice Joe Williams
It was part of a kōrero at the National Library in Wellington on Wednesday on the revitalisation of te reo Māori, which has been documented in Te Mana o Te Reo Māori, an interactive web series laying out the history of the Māori language from the 1200s to today, and the people who championed it.
It is part of a wider digital storytelling programme, Te Tai, a collaboration between the Māori Language Commission and The Ministry of Culture and Heritage aiming to increase the understanding of Treaty settlements and their impact.
Piripi Walker (Ngāti Raukawa) was secretary of the ropū, Ngā Kaiwhakapūmau, that brought forward the te reo Māori Waitangi Tribunal claim, Wai 11 in 1985.
He was also the founder of the first Māori radio station, Te Upoko o te Ika in Wellington which began broadcasting in 1987.
Ngā Kaiwhakapūmau were led by Huirangi Waikerepuru, who died in April this year and was described by Walker as "a fantastic orator, a true native speaker of the Taranaki dialect, raised in the Parihaka tradition".
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