The annual national te reo Māori revitalisation symposium organised by Ngāti Kahungunu, Te Reo ki Tua saw unprecedented demand with its 1200 tickets for the two-day event in Hastings snapped up within hours.
Jeremy Tātere MacLeod, the iwi’s mātauranga director, indicated that if capacity allowed, attendance could have easily doubled, noting that the symposium has gained momentum over its six-year span.
MacLeod said even a notoriously hard-to-please former Māori language commissioner, Sir Timoti Karetu, praised the symposium’s quality of speakers and discussions.
“He’s never been afraid to share his thoughts, regardless of how blunt and brutal they are,” MacLeod told Radio Waatea.
“For him to say that any event has reinstilled his faith, I thought wow, that speaks volumes – and he certainly shared some uplifting sentiments.”