Te Wā Tuku Reo | Multi-year behaviour change campaign

For Purpose helped Te Taura Whiri make history by driving the participation of 1 million people in Te Wā Tuku Reo Māori, Māori Language Moment.


Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori | The Māori Language Commission.

Impact area
Campaigns for change

What we offer
Digital campaign strategy
Integrated social media, web and digital engagement strategy
UX/UI and website development
User-generated storytelling



This multi-year campaign continues to build awareness and participation, supporting the Commission's goal to have 1 million speakers of te reo Māori by 2040.

Dark green background multiple graphics of illustrated people and text descritions of personas


The Challenge

Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori exists to celebrate and promote te reo Māori as a living language and an ordinary means of communication.

One of the defining moments in the revitalisation of the Māori language was the presentation of a petition to parliament on 14 September 1972 asking for te reo Māori to be taught in schools.

The commission wanted to mark this moment and set the audacious goal of having 1 million people (⅕ of New Zealand’s population) participate in a single moment of using te reo Māori at 12pm on Monday the 14th September 2020.

For Purpose managed the paid social media promotion, digital strategy, and website development of a campaign that had two main objectives:

  • Get 1 million people participating in the moment on September 14 and
  • Create and capture a community of people who would be encouraged and helped to carry on their learning through an ongoing programme from the Commission.


The Process

We created a media-rich website that motivated people to sign up to participate in Te Wā Tuku Reo Māori. The site offered clear examples of ways to participate in the Māori Language Moment and inspired people to upload their own stories in text, video and image formats.

The user-flow of the site and the visual design created an immersive visualisation of the groundswell of support for the movement. A wall of stories shared the voice of participants sharing their reasons for participating in Te Wā Tuku Reo Māori.

• A campaign run largely via social media and email drove 35% of all traffic to the site and a lead generation campaign promoted sign-ups via Facebook and accounted for 25% of all uploaded content.
• Automated emails and integrations from social media and sister websites ensured a smooth onboarding process and high levels of conversion from interested to active.
• We used organisational profiles to display directories of participating schools and businesses, plus ran top referrer competitions by tracking and displaying all sign-ups recruited by an existing signup.

The collection of stories enabled by the user experience and site flow, email prompts and social media campaign has created a repository of celebration and connection so significant that the campaign stories have been archived in New Zealand’s national museum, Te Papa Tongarewa.



Te Wā Tuku Reo, as a multi-year behaviour change campaign, has played a significant role in normalising and changing attitudes towards te reo Māori in New Zealand. The campaign provided a platform for people to engage with the language and culture. This has fostered a sense of connection and celebration of te reo Māori. A recent Colmar Brunton poll, found that eight out of ten New Zealanders recognise te reo Māori as part of their national identity. This significant increase can be attributed to the success of Te Wā Tuku Reo in promoting and normalising its use.


  • The paid promotion and digital strategy saw over 1 million New Zealanders participate in the 2020 Te Wā Tuku Reo
  • The integrated social media, web and digital engagement strategy drove over 40,000 unique sign-ups and 6000 story uploads over a period of only two weeks.
  • The multi-year campaign has established Te Wā Tuku Reo as an annual event that is central to a language revitalisation strategy and movement that continues to grow

Awards and Accolades

  • Best International Campaign (National) and Best International Website, 2021 Reed Awards
  • Gold for Best Digital Campaign NGOs and others; Silver for Best Overall Campaign NGO’s and others; Best Website NGOs and Others, Polaris Awards
  • Grand Prix International Public Relations Association (IPRA) Golden World Awards for Excellence (GWA) 2021,
  • Silver in Marketing Communications, Public Relations Institute of New Zealand (PRINZ) Awards, 2021


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