The New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) supports Te Wiki o Te Reo, Māori Language Week and embraces this year’s theme Te Mahi Kai, The Language of Food.
The theme fits perfectly with Te Reo classes held at NZNO’s national office in Wellington every week.
“Our weekly Te Reo classes always include kai and we recognise the importance of manakitanga, the importance of sharing food together as a whānau,” says NZNO chief executive Geoff Annals.
The Te Reo classes, run through Te Whare Wananga o Aotearoa, are promoting a stronger sense of community among NZNO staff.
“In the classes we are all beginners and our work roles are irrelevant. The classes are very intensive but how they are structured, with kai, with waiata and the emphasis on participation and laughter, means that as work colleagues we are getting to know each other in a different way. And that can only benefit the organisation.”
“There are benefits for individual staff, for the organisation as a whole and, ultimately, for Māori health. The more people, particularly health professionals, who can speak Te Reo and who understand the importance of partnership and tikanga, the greater the chance of improving health outcomes for Māori.”
The Te Reo classes are also a perfect fit with NZNO’s strategic vision of building a strong bicultural partnership within the organisation, its commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi and increasing understanding of tikanga.
“Ko te reo te taikura o te whakaaro marama – language is the key to understanding,” says Geoff Annals.