Māori are large scale operators in the sheep and beef sector and play a significant role in leadership due to several unique challenges and the innovative responses to these developed over many years.
It is estimated that Māori operate up to 25 percent of New Zealand sheep and beef farm land and make up nearly 40 percent of the meat processing workforce.
Doug Macredie, B+LNZ’s Sector Capability Manager says that Te Wiki o te Reo Māori is about recognising and using the first language of Aotearoa. Te reo connects us all to Papatūānuku which is a strength for all New Zealand's farmers.
“B+LNZ’s aim is to continually expand and strengthen relationships with Māori thereby acknowledging and understanding the unique role of tangata whenua within New Zealand’s land management activities.
“Māori are not only partners with, and stakeholders within B+LNZ but are tangata whenua. Our best possible appreciation, understanding and use of te reo Māori is an absolute prerequisite to growing this partnership,” says Doug.
B+LNZ has also commenced scoping of the sheep and beef activities on Māori owned land from a tribal rohe perspective. This work will be extended on, to ultimately improve accessibility and connection for specialised extensions programs.
“We need to both increase the quality and relevance of our programs for Māori sheep and beef farms. We see this happening over the net three-year time frame in particular,” says Doug.
B+LNZ is a strong supporter of the Ahuwhenua excellence in Māori farming completion and the Federation of Māori Authorities strategic and farm productivity programs.
Throughout the regions, B+LNZ has initiatives where Māori farms lead and participate including catchment groups and farming workshops.
This is also B+LNZ’s first year running an internal te reo Māori class which is extremely popular and full until 2021.
Te reo Māori farming words
Part of B+LNZ’s celebrations of the week includes sharing commonly used farming words in te reo Māori on Facebook and Instagram.
About Te Wiki o te Reo Māori
Every year since 1975, New Zealand has marked Māori Language Week. This year’s theme is ‘Kia kaha te Reo Māori’, meaning ‘Let’s make the Māori language strong’. You can find useful information and resources on the official Te Wiki o te Reo Māori website.