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Passing on the passion for te Reo Māori

Jul 26th, 2012 | By | Category: Latest News, News

Te Reo Māori: Ingrid Alve, Kaitlyn Lee, Hannah Jeffries, Brittney Silk, Vikki Haylock, Anna Macrae


A NEW course in te Reo Māori is starting up in Wellington giving the public the chance to engage more deeply with the Māori culture.

Classes consist of learning the language, exploring the culture, and singing waiata, Māori songs.

Youth worker, Anna Macrae, 23 (right), who majored in te Reo at university, initiated the idea.

She says she started a small casual class late last year at Zeal, an organisation helping young people to achieve their goals.

She says people kept approaching her saying that they’d love to learn te Reo.

“I am so passionate about the language and Māori culture, and I want others to feel this way, and I want to be able to share it with others.”

As interest grew she says it was evident that some changes had to be made, and more structure had to be put in place so the classes were more effective.

“I have loved seeing people from the class last year engage with it themselves. It’s good teaching it too because it enforces what I’ve learnt.”

One of the students, Vikki Haylock has been finding her own passion for te Reo from this class.

“This course has been essential in my growth towards understanding Māori and their culture, empowering me with knowledge and love for my neighbour.”

Being pākehā herself, Miss Macrae said that teaching the Māori culture has made her want to research her own family and its traditions and culture.

“I reckon our generation feels dislocated, and we’re hungry for some kind of heritage.”

She also says that sometimes people can be scared of what they don’t know, and when they haven’t had a personal encounter with the language, they can be hesitant to engage with it.

“Language is the gateway in to culture,” says Miss Macrae.

“The more language you know the more able you are to appreciate the culture.”

Miss Macrae says a Māori proverb she will be teaching to her pupils sums up the culture’s approach to knowledge and learning.

“Whaia e koe te iti kahurangi; ki te tūoho koe he maunga teitei.

“Seek that which is most precious; if you bow down let it be to a lofty mountain.”

The class will be going to events happening around the city during Māori language week 23rd-29th July.

Classes cost $30 for 10 weeks, and take place on Sundays between 3:30-5pm at the Zeal venue in Ghuznee Street.

The money raised will help to resource further classes.

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is a Whitireia journalism student.
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