13 June 2021

Media Release

Rugby star Tamati Ellison fronts Māori Language Week viral promo

Tamati Ellison fronts “Manaakitanga Moments” - viral promo’s for Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori which have been released today to generate awareness of Māori Language Week, and its theme Manaakitanga.

In the two part promo Tamati dreams of being a rugby star only to be brought back to reality by ‘Nan’ played by Puti Mackey. Various themes of manaakitanga are woven into the narrative.

“Manaakitanga is a broad theme and can be interpreted many ways. In these promos we have chosen to apply manaakitanga to a “rugby” context as a means of acknowledging our national role as hosts for Rugby World Cup 2011” says CE Glenis Philip-Barbara.

“But manaakitanga can also mean showing kindness, caring for others, treating people with respect, nurturing relationships and more. As such we hope to see a range of projects and initiatives across the nation reflecting this theme throughout Māori Language Week”.

Part one of the promo has been released virally today, with the second instalments release set for 20 June. Following this the promos will also feature on Māori Television in the lead up to Māori Language Week which begins 4 July.

As well as raising awareness of Māori Language Week, the promo provides examples of conversational reo Māori, manaakitanga and its associated language.

Tamati Ellison (former Hurricanes player and All Black) is passionate about te reo Māori and enjoyed playing the lead role in the promo.

“I think it's important that Māori and the entire nation nurture and grow our language so that we can empower others by sharing what makes Aotearoa unique”, says Tamati.

Glenis Philip-Barbara says “We are grateful to Tamati for both lending his profile and support to the language this year. His contribution alongside the contributions of the nation throughout Māori Language Week will help build recognition for the language as a living treasure for us all. In a year that sees us play host to the nations of the world, we know that our indigenous language will help provide a distinctive nuance to people’s experience of our country”.

To view the promo, check out our You Tube channel – Arohatia Te Reo or visit us at:  or  

Contact: Debra Jensen: 04 471 6725, 027 231 4297,  




Māori Language Week is made possible with the support of:

Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori – Māori Language Commission
Te Puni Kōkiri – Ministry of Māori Development
Te Kāhui Tika Tangata – Human Rights Commission