A small Gisborne school has won the supreme award in the Maori Language Awards.
Kaiti School won over the judges by capturing the spirit of this year’s Maori Language Week theme, Manaakitanga – or hospitality.
Maori Language Commission chief executive Glenis Philip-Barbara says the school’s entry was special and inspiring because it was driven by tamariki and not the adults.
A significant honour was also given to Taranaki kaumatua Te Huirangi Waikerepuru.
The veteran language advocate was recognised with award for an individual’s contribution to te reo.
Mr Waikerepuru was singled out for his work leading to the passing of the Maori Language Act and his efforts to get the Crown to protect te reo as a taonga in broadcasting – which ultimately led to the creation of Maori Television.
Elsewhere, the Department of Corrections won the Government category, and Tokoroa New World scooped the private sector award.