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Celebrating Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori: Siobhan,Manager Information Sharing and Privacy

01.34pm 15 September 2021


Kia ora e te whānau,
He mihi nui ki a koutou.
Ki aku nui, ki aku rahi, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tātou katoa.
He toroa whakakopa au, nō runga i Kārewa,
He pōtiki manawa ū, nā Ngāi Te Rangi.
Ko Siobhan tōku ingoa.
He tangata Tiriti au.
Nō Tauranga Moana au–engari, e noho ana au ināianei, ki raro i te maru o Aorangi.

Nā te aha koe i ako ai te reo Māori? Why did you decide to learn te reo Māori?

I decided to learn te reo Māori to better connect with my whakapapa and te Ao Māori. I’m Ngāi Te Rangi, an iwi based in Tauranga Moana, but I grew up in Te Awa Kairangi and now live in Waihinga.

As kids, my sisters and I knew that our nanny grew up on the marae, speaking te reo Māori as her first language. But she was strapped at school for speaking te reo, and as she got older, this made her ashamed of who she was. Little by little, she withdrew from the culture that had sustained her. She didn’t teach her own tamariki – my mum and aunt – to speak the reo, and she was still deeply traumatised by this experience by the time we came along. As she got older though, she started slipping back into te reo, especially when she spoke to us – her moko.

I guess this is all just a really long way of saying I decided to learn te reo Māori to honour her memory – to wipe away that sense of whakamā etched so deeply within her, and to claim back my taha Māori.

He aha ngā take nui o te reo Māori ki a koe? What are the main issues facing te reo Māori?

Ki ōku nei whakaaro – in my view – tuatahi. It’s making sure te reo survives as a living language, which includes normalising it in everyday life, and tuarua, it’s making sure we have enough kaiako to teach all the keen tauira out there!

He aha te mea nui i ngakau nui ki a koe i te reo? What are you passionate about in te reo Māori?

Pai tō pātai – great question! I’m passionate about pretty much anything to do with learning te reo - new words, new structures, new grammar, new kīwaha (slang)... I love finding ways to build te reo into my everyday life.

One of my classes has a total immersion element and this is probably my favourite part of the class. I’ve done a lot of my learning through the Te Ataarangi method, which puts emphasis on spoken reo. It also teaches you to approach your reo Māori language journey with a very humble heart.

He aha ngā mea painga o Te Wiki o Te reo Māori ki a koe? What does Te Wiki o te reo Māori mean for you?

Ki a au, for me, te wiki o te reo Māori means somehow, somewhere, things are changing. More people are learning the reo, using it, caring about its survival – generally wanting to make sure it’s part of our lives here in Aotearoa. I love that.

Ko tōku reo, tōku ohooho,
Ko tōku reo, tōku māpihi maurea,
Ko tōku reo, tōku whakakai marihi!