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    Building confidence: the joy of Te Kaiaotanga o te Reo 2024

    Nā Kiriwai Spooner

    Seats were filled with many familiar and unfamiliar faces at the Te Kaiaotanga o te Reo symposium in Wairau last week. 

    Kura from Wairau, whānau and friends from Whakatū, Waikawa and the North Island.  Seeing our people come as a whānau was powerful to be around.

    One of the early speakers commented that “Your reo journey starts at home in your everyday life,” and seeing so many people taking their reo journey into Te Āo Māori as a whānau was awesome.

    Each kaikōrero shared their unique reo journey and how they reached their current position. Each had their own distinctive style of presentation. Some utilized PowerPoint slides to complement their talks.

    Ruia Aperahama, in particular, captivated the audience by incorporating Bob Marley quotes and singing Bob Marley's waiata in Te Reo. Others encouraged questions from the audience. Despite the varied approaches and key points, all the presentations were interconnected by the kaupapa of Te Reo Māori.


    The Mauri Ora team attended Te Kaiaotanga o te Reo 2024.

    What did we learn?

    Most of our Mauri Ora team attended the symposium to enhance and find out the capability of our  reo. As each of us are on our own reo journey we had different outcomes/questions to think about.

    For me I wanted to go because of the mātauranga (knowledge) I could gain from the kaikōrero and tools or tips they use in their everyday life for Te Reo Māori. 

    A tip/tool from one of the speakers that I have started to use is a Māori Gratitude book. A book with Māori whakatauki and affirmations and to say a couple from the book each morning. This was a small and simple step that was already in my daily routine but now amplified with my reo.

    Each kaikōrero presented different kōrero, leaving us with thought-provoking questions to consider afterward. One particular kōrero that got me thinking comes from Oriini Kaipara. 

    As a news broadcaster, journalist, and translator/interpreter of Te Reo Māori, she frequently appears on Aotearoa’s news channels, often incorporating various kīwaha (phrases) into her broadcasts.

    She shared a story about using a kīwaha on television and later receiving a phone call from her kaiako, who pointed out that the kīwaha might not have been the most appropriate choice. Oriini graciously accepted the correction, thanking her kaiako for the guidance. This experience did not deter her; instead, it motivated her to continue using kīwaha, ensuring their correctness. 

    Oriini's story is both motivating and uplifting, reminding us that even the best make mistakes, and that such mistakes are valuable opportunities for learning and growth.

    Overall, I highly recommend attending a Te Kaiaotanga o te Reo Symposium to anyone on their reo journey or looking to enhance their reo skills. 

    This event offers a fully immersive environment, and it was beautiful to hear the children and everyone around speaking Māori. 

    Headphones were provided for simultaneous translation of the speakers’ kōrero, ensuring that everyone could fully engage with the presentations.

    As scary as it was being in a full immersion environment, it provided me the chance to freely express my reo and on any level whether that’s beginner’s or fluent.

    Wrap-up video

    Ngā mihi to the event organisers for this awesome video wrap.

    Richard Liddicoat

    Read more posts by this author.

    Building confidence: the joy of Te Kaiaotanga o te Reo 2024