In 2022, Vaʻatele Education Consulting was contracted by the Ministry of Education to design and deliver the Pacific Bilingual and Immersion Education Project (PBIEP) (2022 – 2025). This project would later be renamed as ‘Ngā Reo o te Moana’ or, ‘Reo Moana’. This project aims to support senior leaders in schools to build their understanding about bilingual and immersion education and to increase skills and competencies of teachers in Pacific bilingual and immersion contexts.
The process of naming the project, “Reo Moana” (shortened version of ‘Ngā Reo o te Moana’) was made in partnership with the project’s design team, recognising that te reo o ngā tangata whenua o Aotearoa (the language of the Indigenous Peoples of New Zealand) is also a language of ngā reo o te Moana Nui a Kiwa (the languages of the Pacific Ocean). The project’s design team members as representatives of the Pacific bilingual/immersion sector, suggested names from their own languages, or with a mix of Pacific languages. In recognition of the tuakana/teina whānau relationships of tangata whenua and tangata moana, and ensuring that one Pacific language (non-Indigenous to Aotearoa) was not privileged over another, we chose a reo Māori encapsulation of the design team’s concepts. Reo Moana speaks to the pre- and post-colonial connections of Aotearoa with the Pacific.