When I was four I started school at Rangitikei District High School.
When I was four I started school at Rangitikei District High School. Maori was the first language at the school so it was an immersion experience. That was 69 years ago.
Recently I listened to the story of Hirini Melbourne who was also brought up in the Urewera. It was transcendent. I love his music.
When I was a kid in Rotorua the Kuia spoke Maori to each other and they caught the same bus as me to Whakarewarewa and Waipa where I lived. Most of them had moko.
Every time I hear Te Reo spoken or sung it reminds me of my very happy childhood.
Now I sing songs to my grandchild. I am a pakeha immigrant from England. I am glad the language is being revived. I am part Welsh and saw how they were able to renew their language. To the joy of my Welsh father.