Abby | Share your why

Kia ora tātou, ko kaukau te maunga, ko te awa kairangi te awa, nō te whanganui-a-tara ahau, ko damen tōku whānau, ko Abby tōku ingoa.

I learnt māori at te wananaga o Aotearoa in 2016, and built confidence speaking throughout that year on a project with friends where we started and ended everyday with karakia. I have never felt so supported and connected in a community before than on that project, and I it really was because of the people.

I've not prioritised learning māori since then, although I enjoy singing waiata. When I studied linguistics at university my favourite papers were about language and culture. At that time the number of people speaking te reo was on a steady decline and it was scary to recognise that the loss of a language is the loss of a culture. I'm happy that more people are learning te reo because the more that māori people and non-māori can understand the language, the better.

I recognise my privilege as a pākeha person living in New Zealand and am always open to learning and understanding and also being wrong or misunderstanding fundamental aspects of te ao māori. I'm committed to learning because both because I have a duty to, and because I want to.