Te pae kōrero | Our why

There are many things that define New Zealanders and connect us to our home: and te reo Māori is one of them.

Everyone has their own reasons for wanting to learn te reo and see it become normalised and spoken nationwide. Explore them below and share your favourites to inspire others to get involved.

Add your 'why'

My working project is, to help revive Maori Traditions. My project NEEDS a living language (compulsory for all immigrants and ultimately every resident of New Zealand) My project is to write a book of the importance of Maori Culture for all of us on this planet. It is a privilege to live in a country, where the only still existing and legally protected indigenous culture in the world is reviving. We all need this revival and should encourage and support (any indigenous culture as well as and foremost) Maori Culture. Already there is a ripple effect going out to other colonized and suppressed indigenous people in Australia, South-America, Canada and de USA and who knows where. It got me, immigrant from a well-off Farmers family in well-off Netherlands (Holland). I don't want to leave this planet before leaving behind my story THE STORY is about: A magical cultural encounter in 1643 comparing this with today’s multi cultural society of Aotearoa, I try to show the loss of valuable cultural habits, the disconnection between us as people and our environment, that has slowly created a feeling of hopelessness and chaos, a lack of identity. Recognizing and describing traditional Maori culture and society structure as one of the few surviving alternatives to a mono-(Western)culture in the rest of the world, I try to emphasize the positives of this available alternative here in New Zealand. By linking original Maori values and customs, as preserved through Hine, portraying her as my ancestor and then myself, AS “NEW” IMMIGRANT AND descendant of this Maori woman, returning to today’s New Zealand, I try to create a dialogue between these different cultures, these different worldviews, aiming to strengthen our society, while at the same time giving it more pride in it’s own identity. New Zealand can be leading the world by practicing a different way of life. I will add and combine values from people from all over the world, trying to make Aotearoa their new home. Leaving behind the mistakes that were made in their own countries. By adding positive value to existing Maori culture. As an experienced (and now retired) Mental Health Nurse I have gathered enough prove from the past encounters as well as from current encounters with people from all over the world. My own experience as immigrant, leaving behind a “certain” lifestyle and restarting from scratch in an (alien) world I had to overcome self-doubt, that comes with this immigration. I worked in big cities, in rural communities, on mareas, in forensic clinics and everywhere I encountered other people that worked on the sharp edge of the society (Police, Social Welfare staff, prison wardens, Teachers, Philosofers). I spent lots of time with artists, musicians as well as politicians and spoke about my encounters with “my dear people”, people caught in a downward spiral of despair and poverty (to such an extent, that they gave up on themselves). Having to give them hope in a world in which the society, (politicians and “the system”) does nothing, but making it worse, with bureaucracy and indifference. Cutting funds, that were promised and making one feel guilty for being such a “burden” to the society, while themselves not being able to last for more then one week in their shoes. The contrast between the 20% of the world that has more than it needs and the 80% that doesn’t know if there is any food or roof tonight, that has to worry about prosecution and violent conflict, only because they were born with the wrong religion, or in the wrong place, on top of essential minerals and resources to feed the profit-hunger of the top 20%. In New Zealand the history around the Declaration of Independence (1835) and the Signing of the Treaty (of Waitangi, 1840) is followed by breaches of trust and equal relationship, a slow but sure erosion of Maori culture. In my story I will use these grievances and failures as background to highlight the fundamental “wrongs” of Treaty Settlements, that does not address the core problems. I spoke with people that have researched the infamous Land-wars of the mid 1800’s. Up till today there has been no restorative justice and ongoing disputes are the consequence. While I will be telling a story of –re-discovery of lost values, I will highlight different ways and possibilities to address historical grief and hope that it shows the opportunity to create a stronger, more just society, based on these values, but also based on the experiences of the “new-comers”, immigrants from all over the world, that would try to avoid making the same mistakes as the ones that made them leave their homeland to try and create a better and brighter future here in Aotearoa. With this story I urge all non-Maori immigrants to reflect on our own lifestyle and see if there is a way to create a better future, avoiding the mistakes already made by their own ancestors. We have enough knowledge gathered over the last decennia. We CAN learn from the past and do not have to make the same mistakes over and over again. Bringing together all the positives will help to make a more fair society that can be in harmony with the surrounding natural world. We all have a deep en-rooted memory of our ancestors stored in our genes. We need a strong self-belief, which can come through our connection with the past. Our soul, our IHI will guide us and gives us the strength, the insight and the courage to follow the path that will bring us all back together. In the story I also try to (re-)kindle the still existing awareness of IHI in Maori, who have been given traditions and knowledge through their whakapapa. Too many are caught up in the high speed society around them, slowly loosing this ancient knowledge. Yes, Maori traditions are being re-visited and at times re-instated, given a place in NZ history, but all too often it appears to be tokenism. Nice for the tourists and good to “make money”, good for business. Instead of chasing this carrot and trying to get a bigger slice of the cake, Maori need to show themselves and others the importance of their traditions and values. Values and traditions, that have been passed on through whakapapa for a good reason. As earlier, elsewhere in the world, greed, colonization and loss of faith have eroded these values, and with it, our society. The values of American-Indian Chiefs like Sitting Bull, Hindu like Mahatma Ghandi, Bantu like Steve Biko, Prophets like Jesus Christ and Mohammad and many many more have been verbalizing and preaching the importance of these values that make us HUMAN. Speaking up against the (instinctive and fear driven) greed and violence, which has only lead to destruction and loss. to be continued. . . . . let me know what you think of the idea and if you want to help getting this story out in the world (Chapter ONE is almost finished) Or if you think I should not continue without first doing the following : . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

I've returned to Aoteoroa after living in Australia for 20 years and I'm amazed at how Te Reo Maori is being so widely embraced. I'm 57 and have grown up largely ignorant of this beautiful language and culture that's right on my doorstep, yet I understand so little of it. We are one nation and I have as much responsibility to understand the Tangata Whenua as I have expected of them. I'm very new to the language, but I'm loving the journey.

I will flood my spaces with Reo. The fire that burns inside me aching and yearning to be fully connected to my Whanau, whakapapa, Whenua, has never been so bright before and only now am I starting to embrace the flames fully with open arms. So to stoke the fire even more, I will Waiata from deep within my heart and soul E piri e tata whakamaua kia Tina, Tina Haumi e taiki eLOV US WHANAU

Why? to keep connected. . . Connected to myself and my children. . . To keep connected to my surrounding and where I am. . . To keep connected to my baby girl who lays to sleep waiting for me. . . To keep connected to who I am and who I want to be. . . I will continue to try to learn as much as I can. . .

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Ko taku mihimihi tuatoru tenei. I plan to increase the depth and detail of my mihimihi very year. It's a fun idea to grab drone shots from YouTube. :-)

Whanaungatanga me mokopuna. . . Aramea Nga Puhi moemoe . . . .

Well (whenua Borewell)firstly I must honour the Lord, io, -ihowa-e ihowa-first and foremost, then as if my sins be forgiven-repent to, (Greatest Commandments Love the Lord God with all your heart, with all your mind, With all your soul, And to Love your neighbour. The Honour your Parents-then in The Subjection of the Hebrew messianic Torah Christ(Karaitiana)-Is The Headship of The Man of the House-wharekainga, in turn head of the Wife, and Children-Tamariki, Te kohanga reo-kura. Paying Taxs & offerrings -Malachi 3:6-10, 1 Peter 2:9, 1 Corinthians 12:1-13, in payment weekly to the Lord, io-omsbudsman. Then my belief is by faith of Healing my Enemy. -and so and so good lord by and by.

My why is my whānau❤️

Whilst i worked as a Midwife - i was intrigued by the karanga that was done at the time of the birth. I started learning Te Reo to understand the Karanga. This led me on an interesting journey of discovery, self-growth and much more. i learnt not only the language but Tikanga. As i Migrant - you struggle to find your Turangawaewae , but learning Māori culture has given me that 'permission' to acknowledge me place of birth (South Africa) and Aotearoa (Heretuanga) as my turangawaewae. To acknowledge our whenua and whanau - it helps me to feel welcome and a sense of belonging. This year i am reading the Quran in Te Reo Māori

My why. . . is actually a why not? Why wouldn't we want to learn Te Reo Māori? It teaches us about the stories that are threaded through this whenua. I'm loving my journey of learning!

Yesterday our Business and IT centres shared a boil-up to initiate conversations in te reo Maori around cooking and eating kai. Ka mau te wehi.

My why is to keep up reo with my daughter so we can both continue to learn. I want to get to the point where we are fluent enough to have a causal convo with confidence.

I would love to develop my confidence in speaking te reo to inspire and encourage tamariki in my classroom to speak more te reo confidently too : )

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As a kura we want to ensure that we enhance the revitalisation of te reo Māori, for our tamariki, whānau, community and also ourselves. Mā te huruhuru ka rere te manu

To continue on my learning journey so my Reo flows.

When I was young at school people use to make fun of my surname and first names there was even a horrible experience where my teacher (Maori) also made fun of one of my names these experiences built a sense of insecurity and loneliness and a shame of being maori as I grew older I allowed people to mispronounce my name because I was to ashamed to correct them or make a joke about it too ease my insecurity and anxieties so I began to deny my own identity just fit in Peer pressure for sure You know as I reflect on all those times on being made fun of as a kid and as a adult I think back on how our tupuna and my grandparents were treated as kids and adults in there time and the violence and violations they were put through and I believe it made them stronger because personally my trials and tribulations definitely made me more stronger and resilient for me it is a matter of heart and courage to learn te reo Maori and to be at peace with the journey of true self Mouri ora

I want to help celebrate the taonga that is te reo Maori!

Mooku ake, ko ooku tuupuna e kore i whaiwaahi atu ki te ako me te kooreo i too taatou reo me aku uri whakatupu te tino puutaketanga o tooku reo rangatira!

It’s time to be part of the reclamation movement. Mauri ora

Living in Aotearoa I am surrounded by a rich and unique history experienced by the peoples of this land and to hear and understand Te Reo Māori provides another perspective and learning that I hope to share and speak with my moko one day.

Learning Te Reo is long time coming. I want to teach my mokopuna their ancestral history through Te Reo, while learning myself.

It is a privilege to reside in this country, to be able to utilise and understand Te Reo Māori is one way to be able to respect that privilege.

I want to increase my matauranga and te reo maori to be part of keeping the culture alive

I want to improve my knowledge and understanding of Te Reo so I can better connect with my tamariki.

E ngā reo E ngā mana Tino Rangatiratanga

I love learning about traditional Māori knowledge, history and wisdom through the joyful medium of waiata :)

Mo toku tamariki. . . I want my boys to grow up knowing, respecting and loving the indigenous language of Aotearoa. I am teaching them that speaking and hearing te reo Maori is normal, and that it is our privilege and responsibility to keep the language strong.

Learning more about Te Reo Māori and Tikanga lets me approach work and life in a different, and better, way

Ko te reo te mouri o te Māoritanga, heoi ka kōrero Māori au i i rā, i ia pō kia whakarauora mai i te reo rangatira. Kua whakatupuria taku tama nō Apanui i roto i te reo Māori kia Māori ai tōna tuakiritanga, ōna whakaaro, me ōna tikanga: ko ia te reanga hou mō tōna iwi ❤️🤍🖤

I want my tamariki to be proud of their culture and heritage and be able to move, connect, communicate and participate between te āo māori, te āo kukī āirani and te āo pakeha.

Learn my pepeha by heart and incorporate te reo phrases into everyday usgae

Our team are learning te reo maori as a group and we are using it in our work environment. Little by little.

Te reo Māori is distinctively woven through Aotearoa New Zealand's past, present and future. This country is part of my heritage. I want some familiarity with te reo Māori so I can have an understanding of this key feature of our country.

I love the whakatauki 'Ka mua, ka muri' - walk backwards into the future. In order to move forward together, we must carry the knowledge of the past

Te Reo Māori is Aotearoa, it is a Taonga

The language, the music and the traditions kept us grounded and always stays within us & the next generation.

Whanau having a practice of a kupu each day and a new one for each day. I want to build our Maori capabilities within my whanau. Practicing our new karakia everyday

I am teacher and I want to improve my knowledge and understanding of te reo and make as many connections with my aakonga as possible. Neralie

Te reo Māori is my heritage language. I am learning and speaking for the tipuna who weren't allowed, and for my children that they might, mauri ora

Ko Te Reo Maori, Te Reo Rangatira, te kaikawe i te honohutanga o te whakaaro Maori, whakaaro Rangatira. No reira tukuna te reo kia rere.

I decide to acknowledge Te Reo Maori because as I grew up, My whanau would always tell me how they used to get the shitere beat out of them just for saying hello in Maori. They tell me now, to learn Te Reo while I can so that's what I have decided to do.

He aha ai ki au? Nā te mea he tūturu Māori. Ka ora te reo i ngā wā kātoa. Nā te mea he tōku whānau, he whānaunga, he iwi, he hapū hoki.

My tamahine is in the kapahaka group at kura and she is leading a couple of their waiata's. She has been teaching me a poi kanikani all week. :)

To increase my knowledge in Te Reo

Kia kaha Te Reo Māori! As an immigrant, I understand the value of manaakitanga from the perspective of a recipient, and I have undertaken study and activities to make sure I am a good visitor, albeit for life. Speaking the language is the key to meeting this goal, for life.

Te Reo Maori is a beautiful language and I love learning more about it.

Provides empowering social and economic benefits, as well as our common interests, helps unite and educate us. To better understand and appreciate the differences among individuals in terms of their beliefs and practices. Creating an environment that not only recognizes the differences between those cultures and backgrounds but celebrates them.

My Why: is God, Family and Church

To better understand, to better connect

Our tamariki are so proud to live in Aotearoa and celebrate the fact there is no other place in the world that you can embrace the language and culture of Te Ao Māori.

Remembering on this day 51 years ago, Aunty Hana Te Hemara Jackson carried the Māori language petition up the steps of Parliament in 1972 to present to Matiu Rata and the other Māori MPs. #IamHana.

My sister-inlove is Māori and I will love to be able to not only understand Te Reo but also speak Te Reo Māori with her and my nieces and nephews ❤ That is my why! and also, to preserve and embrace the mother tongue of Aotearoa so that in generations to come we do not lose our beautiful Te Reo and can keep the language alive for many more years to come. The games and activities we have going at work not only this Language week but every Māori Language week since joining Access has really helped me with learning and embracing Te Reo Māori day to day.

Tōku reo tōku ohooho! Tautoko ngā kaimahi ki te kōrero kiwaha, waiata me te pūrei kēmu "Poi Rākau".

Learning Te Reo Māori is an important part of being a partner in Te Tiriti o Waitangi and respecting mana whenua and tangata whenua of Aotearoa. Ka ako te reo Māori!

Aotearoa is my home land and celebrating Te Reo Maori language week makes me feel more connected with my people, whanau and our tangata whenua

Our Why. . . . . . because we are Te ao Maori and te reo connects us to our tikanga, our whenua, our tangata whenua and our tupuna.

I am so keen to learn maori language -I am married to a maori - my children and our mokopunas are part maori - I want to be able to speak two languages

Te Reo Māori is a real taonga that we have here in Aotearoa. Te Reo Māori is part of who I am as Māori, and through the language I learn about my tīkanga and Te Ao Māori. I am going to be speaking Te Reo Māori for Te Wā Tuku Te Reo Māori to uplift the mana of our beautiful reo and share the language with as many people as I can. Kia kaha Te Reo Māori!

Aotearoa New Zealand is fortunate to have a rich cultural history. It’s up to us to preserve and grow that for future generations. Part of that is embracing Te Reo Māori. This is part of what makes our country special. I was fortunate to go to a primary school (a very very long time ago) which was proactive in including Te Reo Māori in school life. I’m grateful for that and want the same for all kids.

I have recently become a Grandmother and my desire is for my mokopuna (my Putiputi) to learn her reo! As a teacher, I feel it is VERY important for every student in Aotearoa to learn Te reo Māori

Kia ora koutou! It is important to me (Ngāpuhi, Te Āti Awa) because I see the way colonisation, assimilation and racism have harmed my people, specifically through my Koro. He grew up beaten for speaking te reo, he grew up with negative feelings towards his people because of the prevalent propaganda/scapegoating - he rejected his culture. I never learnt te reo growing up because my father never learnt te reo, because my Koro refused to teach it to his children out of fear of the negative impacts that knowledge and association could have on his whanau. I want to learn te reo Māori to fight back against the efforts to erase it and us. I took a 101 class at university, and when I went home to Rotorua I did a mihimihi for my Koro. He was amazed I had learnt it at uni. He couldn't believe that it would be upheld and celebrated in that way. It is important we all continue to learn and strive to do better because it is not enough to not be racist, we must be anti-racist. It is important because Māori are tangata whenua, we are the people of Aotearoa, to live here is to be visitors, we must respect te reo Māori and te ao Māori (they come hand-in-hand). I am practicing karakia every day for Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. I hope to continue with this and more beyond tēnei week. I hope you are challenging yourselves too. Karawhiua!

After 56 Years of denying my beautiful language, culture, traditions and of her I am. A Maori Cook Islander wahine toa for Karaiti. Also lots of dreams about tupuna, whenua, and myself talking te reo in them is my passion and WHY! !

Kōrerotia tō tātou reo. Whakatairangahia tō tātou reo. Whakamanahia tō tātou reo.