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Poutiaki Tikanga/Reo Paraone Gloyne, Social Media Adviser Ross McDougall, Sound Engineer & Composer Morgan Samuel and Te Taiurungi Te Ururoa Flavell.

The world’s most popular video game and a weekly podcast of all things te ao Māori, helped Te Wānanga o Aotearoa to win the education categories at Ngā Tohu Reo Māori - the Māori Language Awards.

The awards hosted by Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori recognise Māori Language initiatives and activities that promote the Māori language.

They also acknowledge long-term commitment by people and groups to Māori language revitalisation. 

TWoA won the Mātauranga – Whānui/Education – Open section for Mahuru Māori – Fortnite.

The idea to bring together teams of gamers of the world’s most popular video game and use te reo Māori in an online battle royale that was livestreamed to more than 10,000 people, was the brainchild of TWoA advisor social media, Ross McDougall.

Ross, who earlier in the year had success in mainstream media with the help of Poutiaki Tikanga/Reo Paraone Gloyne in translating the Fortnite map placenames in to te reo Māori, said he was extremely humbled to receive the prize.

“Using video games to normalise te reo Māori was an exciting opportunity. To be recognised within the Mātauranga – Whānui category for this was extremely rewarding,” he said.

Te Wānanga o Aotearoa also won in the Mātauranga – Kaupapa Māori/Education – Māori Medium section for our Taringa Punua Pāoho podcast.

The weekly podcast about all things Te Ao Māori is hosted by Paraone Gloyne and Lyndsay Snowden.

It has a growing following that regularly features guest speakers from around the motu as they discuss te reo Māori, historical events, stories from different iwi and more.

Te Taiurungi Te Ururoa Flavell said he was proud that TWoA kaimahi not only featured as finalists but won the education categories.

“Our goal for next year is to do even better as we strive to open up more opportunities for communities to embrace Māori language through differtent formes of learning,” he said.

“Te Wānanga o Aotearoa is fortunate to have a huge pool of teachers of Māori language who experiment every day in ways of delivering Māori language. We need to be adaptable to the circumstances of our communities, young and old, people new to the language and those who have had some time learning.”

“It is an exciting time and we are very happy to be a part of it.”

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