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“I’m from Gisborne and when I was young my brother had a scrub cutting gang. From age 14 to 25 I worked with the guys there and they spoke Te Reo. I didn’t speak or understand it but it was all around me as normal communication and something seeped in.”
“Wanting to understanding kaupapa Maori is simply woven through my life and I don’t really need to know why. Since 2009 I’ve done several courses including Whaikorero (the art of formal speech-making), an online Mauri Ora course, and I’ve done other Te Reo courses with different institutions.”
“This course has pushed me to do my mihi and a waiata and to write 500 word essays in Te Reo. I’m one of two pakeha students with 11 Maori and during the course someone died so we got to share in the experience of a tangi. We‘re a good mix of people and we developed a strong team spirit.”
“My cousin is a linguistics professor and says that if you’re learning a language, you need to work out why you want to learn it. My motivation is to read it. I want to be able to read the five volumes of Sir Apirana Ngata’s songs and sayings.”
“Having done the course I feel more confident that the foundations of Te Reo are there and I could now learn to speak it if I wanted to. I’m tempted to go on to level 5 next year and that could be even more full-on.”