Student Profile

Linda Cook - Te Reo

Linda Cook - Te Reo

“I lived in central Africa, came to Auckland, then recently moved to the north and I’m really appreciating the slower pace and different values up here. We’re living in a community with a strong Maori presence, and in the last decade te reo has become a lot more visible. It’s more important now to pronounce the reo correctly and greet people appropriately, so I want to learn the language and the wider tikanga in the process. Doing this course is changing my perception of myself, my own whakapapa and my tupuna.”

“By learning te reo, we’re also learning about Maori history and the cultural values. The language is built around stories and these stories have a gravitas and richness that hold knowledge. The grammatical structure is more of a challenge for me than pronunciation but the language is starting to stick now and I’m finding it’s getting easier to research and write assignments.”

“I’m an older white woman and I find the other students are really helpful and constructive to be around. It was all so foreign for me initially, and sharing sleeping space on marae visits was very new, but now I’m very comfortable with it. It’s a wonderful opportunity and gives me a deeper understanding of the sociology of this country and its people.”

“I’m an artist, and in the art world now it’s expected that we have an appreciation of te reo and tikanga, so taking this course will also help me in my profession and expand my own world view. I’ve also learnt what is and isn’t mine to do, and when to seek out appropriate people for different cultural protocol.”

“I want to continue to upskill and improve my grammar so I’ll go on and study level 4. It may take me a while but gradually I’ll cement what I’m learning into my life. I am gaining so much by doing this course. It’s all embracing.”