Quality of Te Reo Speakers
It is, without a doubt, a beautiful thing to see an increase in te reo Māori speakers, but it comes with challenges.
How can we assure the quality of reo that is being taught? Do we have enough reo Māori teachers to meet the growing demand and, most importantly, to pass on quality language, free from errors and limitations? Improving the quality of the teaching is imperative, especially at a time where making te reo compulsory in schools is a nearing possibility.
I reflect on my most recent experience at Kura Reo where I had the privilege to learn from some of the top reo Māori tutors in the world. To be nurtured by such excellent teachers for only one week improved my reo more than three years of studying university reo Māori papers did (dare I say it!). But that speaks to the impact of great teachers. I left Kura Reo imagining how much higher the general quality of te reo Māori would be if ALL reo Māori courses were equipped with teachers of such a high calibre. That sounds like something I could only dream. But hey, I’m sure that, when te reo Māori was in a critical condition, imagining it as it is today, was merely a dream. Ko au te taupā, kīhai i puāwai āku moemoeā – I am the only obstacle to the fruition of my dreams. WE are the only obstacle to the fruition of OUR dreams. We can choose. Choose to action the advancement of te reo. Choose to uphold the mana of te reo. Choose to nurture our own reo. Choose to strive for excellence in te reo.
Māori mā, kia kaua e waiho mā iwi kē tātou e kawe. Taiohi mā, kia kaua hoki e waiho mā ngā kaumātua, rangatira, pakeke tātou e kawe. As the next generation of speakers, the language will be left to us to nurture and grow. To all Māori, I pose the question, what do you want that to look like? Ko wai tō hoihō? Wepua! Ko te reo kia tika, ko te reo kia rere, ko te reo kia Māori.
Quantity of Te Reo Speakers
Uia mai koia tēra Nathan Rāhui whakahuatia ake he aha te mea matua; kia nui ake ngā kaikōrero reo Māori, kia kounga ake te reo Māori e kōrerotia ana rānei. Nānā i mau i te hunga ki te hīnaki whakatenatena whakaaro i te ao pukamata. E te kaipānui, whakamahara mai ki awau hai te wā tītoki kia KAUA wau e whakahoki kōrero te pūrari autaia rā.
Heoi, kia koke atu tāua ki te pātai rā. Mehemea e tika ana awau (kia manawanui koutou te hunga kupu mā te kupu) ko taku whakahoki ki ā ia pai kē atu kia nui ake ngā kaikōrero Māori. Ā tōna wā mā te ngākau nui tonu e whanake i te kounga o te reo. E rua pea waku rau taunaki hai whakarākei i taku taiaha e wero ai i te hunga e kīia nei me mātua kounga te reo. He huanga tēnei nō te akomanga reo rua. He akomanga reo Māori, reo tāmi hoki i roto i tētehi kura auraki. Ko te katoa o ngā tamariki o roto ka whāngai ki te mātauranga i roto i ngā reo e rua. Nānā taku arero i poipoi kia tangatanga taku reo rangatira. Ehara i te mea kounga ake nei te reo i kōrerotia e mātou ngā tamariki. Heoi he tamariki Māori tonu e kōrero ana i te reo.
Ka rua ka waiho mā te ara o ia tāngata tōna reo e kawe ki te taumata e hiahiatia ana e ia, ki te taumata e kōingo ana te ahurea Māori hoki. Ko taku i konei me whakarata tātou i te hunga kia kōrero i te reo. Ahakoa he iti he pounamu tonu kia whanake ai te āpōpō o te reo Māori. I runga anō i tēra me kaupare atu a Ngāti Whakawā kia ora rānō a Ngāti Akiaki.
Hai whakakapi, me aro tātou ki te tauwhirotanga o te reo. Kai roto i ō tāua ringa te āpōpō o te reo. Ko te hiahia tuatahi, ko te kounga whai muri. Nā reira awau ka waiho i a koutou i konei me te āki nui a Tuini mā.
Whiua ki te ao, whiua ki te rangi, whiua ki ngā iwi katoa!