14 September 2020
Media Release

Inaugural Essay Competition to mark Māori Language Day

September 14 is Māori Language Day and to mark the event Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori is calling for people to take up their pen and let us know what they believe are the foremost issues affecting the language.
The Inaugural Essay Competition will be an ongoing event in honour of past Board Commissioners who have spent a lifetime studying, writing and/or documenting the Māori language.

“It is also a means by which we can elicit feedback directly from some of our most important stakeholders, learners, speakers, supporters, teachers, experts, about the language; what motivates them to pursue the language; what prevents them from doing more. These are all critical issues”, says Chief Executive, Glenis Philip-Barbara.

“We expect the essay competition will provide insights in these areas and assist in progressing our lead role in the redevelopment of the Māori language strategy“.

The competition is open to Students (13 - 18 years) and Adults (19+).

It is not open to professional writers, those paid for their writing, or have had their work published by a commercial publisher or sold commercially.

Essays may be submitted in Māori and/or English with a recommended word count of 600-1500 for Students and 1,000-3,000 word count for Adults.
Winners of each section will receive $1,000 (Student section) and $5,000 (Adult section). There are also prizes for second and third place-getters in each section. There will also be a prize awarded to the school that contributes most to the competition, not necessarily in the amount of essays, but the quality of the essays and originality of topics. Winners will be announced in December 2011.

All entries must be received by 5pm Wednesday 2 November 2020. Entries can be sent electronically or in hard copy but must be signed. For more information on the essay topic, criteria and prizes please refer Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori website:  


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