Growing demand for a better understanding of the Māori language in the law profession has led to a workshop tailored at judges, lawyers and law students.
Te Hunga Rōia Māori o Aotearoa (Māori Law Society) is holding the inaugural Kura Reo 2018 in July, in Auckland.
Kaupare Law and Consultancy director, Alana Thomas is organising the event.
“A Kura Reo is a full immersion Te Reo Māori course which is held on a Marae for three days where people will stay, day and night,” she says.
It’s being held 4 July to 7 July with the entire workshop in Te Reo Māori.
“There’s five different Kaiako or teachers who teach different aspects of the language from the basics such as introductions to more advanced levels for people who may have been brought up with Te Reo Māori. It caters for everyone, whether they have a passion for the language or just want to improve their knowledge,” she says.
Commercially and economically Māori enterprises are big success stories throughout the country and many lawyers, not just those of Māori descent are having to engage more with Māori business leaders.
“One of the Māori Law Society’s visions is that eventually all people in the law profession could be able to speak Te Reo,” she says.
Mrs Thomas says along with the commercial side, litigation and court work also has a growing demand for people in the legal community to be able to speak some Māori.
“There’s also a call from the bench particularly for lawyers as a professional responsibility to have at least a basic understanding of Te Reo. More and more judges introduce themselves in Māori so why don't more lawyers do so too,” she says.
There are 120 places available for the inaugural Kura Reo 2018, of which 20 are reserved for law students. People who are interested can register here.