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| June 2022

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Photo of Te Kōingo ki te Reo
Te Kōingo ki te Reo.

Te Kōingo ki te Reo

E whai nei a Siena Yates, kātahi anō ka tīmata i tana takahi i te ara o te reo, i ētahi o ngā toa i Ngā Tohu Reo e whakahaerehia ana e Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori hei whakaawe i a ia.

E whai ake nei tāna kōrero ki a Jeremy Tātere MacLeod, ko ia nei te kaikōkiri i te whakarauoratanga o te reo o Ngāti Kahungunu, i whakawhiwhia rā ki te tohu toa mō ngā iwi.

Ka kite ana au, kua whakawhiwhia a wai rānei ki tētahi tohu toa mō te reo Māori, ka pēnei au kua kōrero ia i ngā rā katoa o tōna ao, ā, kua pakeke mai hoki ia i tētahi kāinga kei reira te mahi a te kaikōrero matatau.

Nō reira, ka tere te rangona o te kūware i tāku, i tā tētahi wahine Māori, he iti rawa atu nei tana mōhio, waeatanga atu ki a ia ki te kōrero mō taua mea kotahi e wehi katoa nei au. Engari ko te mea kua mau i a au i ēnei uiui, kāore noa iho he take kia pērā aku whakaaro, ka mutu ko au kē kei te whiu i a au anō ki te kūware.

Kua ako hoki au kia kaua e pōhēhē ki tā wai rānei takahi i tana huarahi o te reo.

Kia tahuri ki a Jeremy Tātere MacLeod, ko ia nei te pouarataki i te rautaki whakarauora i te reo o Ngāti Kahungunu, i toa rā i tētahi tohu reo Māori i tērā tau mō taua mahi. Kei a ia te mahi e noho ai te reo “hei reo whakawhitiwhiti matua” mō te nuinga o Ngāti Kahungunu i mua i te tau 2027.

I tua atu i tērā, ko ia hoki te toihau o ngā kōhanga reo e rua – kei tōna kāinga tonu tētahi e tū ana – ā, he mātanga reo hoki ia. Waihoki kua tata oti i a ia tana tohu kairangi e pā nei ki “te whakatau i te tūreo o Ngāti Kahungunu: tōna hītori, tōna whanaketanga me tōna ahunga whakamua.”

Nō reira, i pēnei tonu au ka kōrero au ki tērā i puta mai rā ki tētahi whānau kōrero Māori, ā, kua pakeke mai i te kōhanga me te kura.

Tēnā pōhēhē, āe.

I whānau mai a Jeremy ki Piripane, ā, kua tāwekoweko ōna herenga ki tōna Māoritanga i tōna pakeketanga mai. I hūnuku ōna mātua, a Kenneth rāua ko Ruma MacLeod, ki Ahitereiria i ngā tau whakamutunga o te tekau tau 1970, ā, ahakoa ō rāua whakapapa Māori, kua kore i tino arohia e rāua.

“Kua tino motu te here o taku pāpā ki tōna Māoritanga. E whitu ōna tau, ka mate nei tana māmā, ka mutu he Pākehā tōna pāpā. Kāore rātou i pakeke mai i tō rātou marae i Rotorua. Tērā tonu pea i pērā anō te āhua ki taku māmā — kua motu te here ki tōna Māoritanga. Ko ia tētahi o ngā uri o ngā whakatipuranga wairuatoa e toru. He iti rawa atu nei ō rāua mōhiotanga ki te reo me ngā tikanga.”

Nō reira, kāore a Jeremy me ōna tuāhine i tino whai wāhi ki te ao Māori, hāunga ia te mātakitaki i ngā rīpene ataata o ngā konohete me ngā whakataetae kapa haka — ā, “i ōna wā ka whiwhi i tētahi hāte Māori, i tētahi uhi tēpu Māori rānei,” tana katakata.

Heoi anō, ehara i te mea nā te korenga ōna i poipoia i te ahurea i mutu ai tana kōingo ki “tētahi punua tuakiritanga Māori”.

“Mai rā anō taku ngākaunui ki te whakapapa, me te aha ka tīmata taku rangahau i tērā kaupapa i a au e tamariki tonu ana, ā, ka tuhi au ki aku whanaunga i Aotearoa nei. Engari ka tipu tonu taku hiahia, ka piringi hoki au ki te ako i te reo. I mahara au, ki te ako au i te reo, kātahi au ka kaha ki te āta whāki, ki te āta whakaū hoki i tōku tuakiritanga Māori.”

Otiia koirā tonu tāna i mahi rā. Nōna e 17 tau ana, ka hūnuku mai ia ki Aotearoa, ka noho ai i te taha o tana kuia, kua riro nei, o Ruma McDonald, i Heretaunga.

E maumahara pū tonu ana ia ki ngā rā nā te mea “koirā ngā wā i huri ai taku ao”. I tau mai ia i a Hanuere, te 28 o te tau 2004, ā, ka tīmata tana takahi i te huarahi o te reo i a Pēpuere, te 16 o taua tau i Te Aho a Māui, kei Te Matau a Māui.

Kāore e kore, ko te tīmata i te takahi i te huarahi o te reo Māori ki tētahi wāhi e pērā rawa ana te tawhiti i te ahurea te mutunga kē mai o te whakamataku. Kua 30 tau taku pakeke, ka mutu kei te kāinga au e karapotia ana e te hunga tautoko engari inā te uaua ki a au o te tīmata i tāku anō hīkoi.

E rua ngā take matua ki a Jeremy. Ko te hihiri mārika me te ārahitanga ōna e ōna tīpuna. Mai rā anō tana”whakaaro nui”(otiia tana “āhua koromaki” — nāna tonu aua kupu, ehara i a au) ki ōna tīpuna. I pērā rawa te maha o ngā whakaahua i kohia rā e ia, he pēnei tonu tōna kāinga i te whare pupuri taonga.

“Ko te hunga e mōhio mai ana ki a au e mōhio ana hoki ki te ponitakatia ōku e ngā whakaahua o te hunga mate, he whakapono nōku ka ora tonu rātau i a rātau e whakairingia tonungia ana ki ngā pātū, e kōrerongia ana hoki e te hunga ora. Kei te mōhio hoki tāua ki taua kōrero rongonui e mea ana, ka mate tuarua te tangata ā tōna wā ka mutu te kōrerongia ōna. Ki a au nei, he take tērā e āki ana i a au.”

Nō reira, ka rere mai ia ki Aotearoa, ka rangahau, ka ako. Mēnā ko au, kua noho noa iho au i te kāinga ki te whai i te kūkara, engari kāore rawa te kōingo o Jeremy ki ōna hononga e ea i tērā.

I tōna taenga mai, e whakaae ana ia nā tōna āhua i wawe tonu ai tana whai taunga ki hea rānei. “E kīia ana ko te āhua tērā nō te mokotaurangi — ko au nei tētahi ka whai kia tere tonu taku whai taunga ki tētahi ao. Ko te ako tērā i ngā momo whanonga o te hunga kei ōku taha, ko te ako i te tangi o te reo, ko te whakarere atu i te tangi o te reo Ahitereiria, ko te ako tonu hoki i te reo. Kia tere tonu te mau o taua reo i a au.

“He tamariki, he hiahia hoki nōku pea i pērā ai. I wātea au ki te ako ukiuki i ngā tau e whā karapīpiti, he rawe aku kaiako, ka mutu i hiahia au kia pūkenga au i taua reo.”

Ko ia tonu tēnei. E karapotia ana e te reo me te ahurea i kōingotia rā e ia.

Nō tana wahine, nō Te Rina, te whakaaro kia whakatūria he kōhanga reo ki tō rāua kāinga. I taua wā rā, kāore i pērā rawa te manawanui o Jeremy ki te tamariki — nō muri mai tērā, nō te whānautanga mai o ā rāua tama, o Te Uaki rāua ko Te Maurutanga. Heoi, ināianei e koa katoa ana ia he kōhanga reo tō rāua kāinga.

Ki te riro i a ia te Lotto, ko te wawata o Jeremy he hoko i te hia nei kōpure whenua i tētahi ara-ānau-kati, ka whakaritea ai a reira hei wāhi kōrero Māori anake.

“Ki a au nei, me whakarite papa-kāinga mātau. Me whakatū anō e mātau he hapori e whakamahia ai te reo i ngā kāinga, ka mutu he hunga tautoko kei reira. Kai te piringi mātau kia kaua te reo hai ākona engari kia mau noa. Kai te piringi mātau ki te reo whakawhiti kōrero, kaua ki te reo i ahu mai i te pukapuka, nō reira ko taku wawata nui, ko te whakaū anō i te tukuihotanga e whakamahi ai ngā mātua i te reo hai whakapakeke i ā rātau tamariki.”

I tono au i ngā whakaaro o Jeremy ki tōna ao mēnā kāore ia i hūnuku mai ki Aotearoa ki te ako i te reo. Ko tana whakautu tuatahi te mea i whai take nui katoa: “Kua kore pea au e koa. Kua tau katoa taku mauri ināianei.

“E whakapae ana au, mēnā au i noho tonu ki Ahitereiria, kua kore au e koa, kua kōingo hoki tōku ngākau ki te whenua nei, ki tētahi wāhi e tū ai au i runga i te whenua me te mōhio tonu ki tōku anō tūranga-waewae, ka mutu ko taua whenua rā te takahanga waewae o ōku tīpuna.”