A three-year 'labour of love' running wānanga reo bore its greatest fruit for tutor Hone Morris when he saw his students came through the hardest test of all. They stood and spoke at the tangi of their mate's mum. Hone said it was a major thing as some of his students had no reo when they started. A teacher of many years experience, Hone decided he should take his passion for teaching te reo Māori me ōna tikanga back home to help strengthen local marae.
Over the last three years attendance at the voluntary wānanga has fluctuated - sometimes as high as 47, other times as low as 7 but even now people drive for over an hour to attend the Wednesday night sessions. "Experience has taught us that wānanga over the weekend are less successful than mid-week ones", says Hone. Based at Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Takapau, parents from the kura have taken up the chance to attend the wānanga reo too. Another obvious fruit was the appointment of a student as a researcher for the Māori Land Court. "Whilst people come because they want to develop their reo, it has opened new opportunities for them in many ways."
After successfully applying for Mā Te Reo funding for several years, Hone said he got too hoha to apply last year. He changed his mind. "It got very tough, and expensive, to travel regularly to the wānanga and also to produce resources. I nearly stopped. So now I am very grateful to Mā Te Reo for their continued financial support. The money is not, and should not, be the most important thing, but it definitely helps."
Ngutunui are a bunch of drama queens. and kings! Based in the Hawkes Bay, this voluntary group of writers, actors, singers and production crew put on a Reo Māori play during Māori language week. In 2007, their show, Nanekoti Nanakia ran at Waipatu and Ōmāhu Marae. Hundreds of children and their whānau cheered, chuckled and clapped their way through the story about Hori, a boy who was so naughty that he was sent live with his koro on a farm. Whilst there, Hori gets to know Haruru and Marilyn (the two cows), Poaka (the pig) and of course Māro, the goat that bullies everyone. As they battle for supremacy, Hori realises that he has much in common with Maro and, in the end, both agree to change their unruly ways. With lots of finger-tapping, foot stomping songs, the play's finale is based on the whakatauki 'He aha te mea nui o te ao? He tangata, he tangata, he tangata.'
"Drama is a fun and entertaining way to share te reo Māori - and it works with both learners and fluent speakers" says writer, Chelsea White. It is an opinion echoed by everyone in the troupe. Director Puti Lancaster says the support from Mā Te Reo has been great. "We have received funding for the last four productions and the team has always been helpful and easy to work with. My advice is to get your reports in on time and spend the money how you said you would."
Te Rā o te Reo in Porirua is about taking Māori language to the youth of their multi-cultural community. And thousands of them and their whānau turn out to enjoy the day of music and entertainment. In its sixth year now, the 2007 concert saw more than 20 different groups and performers on stage, some local and some from further afield. Organiser Jacqui Keelan says it's an awesome variety show, with everything from rap to kapa haka, R'n B to reggae. "Also all artists, Māori and non-Māori, must include at least one Māori song within their bracket."
With members just barely in their teens, but already seasoned international performers, the rangatahi group Ko Au regularly performs at Te Rā o Te Reo. They are one of the groups that epitomise the day's theme of Māori, Music and youth. Te Rā o te Reo also offers local Māori groups like the kohanga reo to run fundraising stalls free of charge - a great opportunity given that ten thousand people turned up to the last event.
Jacqui Keelan is grateful for the regular support from Mā Te Reo.
“It is very expensive to run an all-day festival so support from Mā Te Reo, and other sponsors, has been essential. My advice to new applicants is to read the application properly, make sure that you meet the funding criteria and then fill in the paperwork correctly." Jacqui Keelan encourages people to apply. “I have been applying to Mā Te Reo for six years and not all of my applications have been successful. But if I have any questions at all, I ask the Mā Te Reo staff. They are always happy to assist and can save you a lot of energy and time."
Ever wanted to write your own children's book in Māori? Then visit Tana the taniwha on www.kmk.maori.nz and click on the online books link. Tana is the online creation of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, and he supports the Rūnanga's 25 year Māori Language Strategy - Kotahi Mano Kaika, Kotahi Mano Wawata. His task is to help personalize the story books by prompting writers to enter their own text and images, which will be included on different pages of the book. There are four books currently available via the site: I Taku Ruma Moe (In My Bedroom); Te Wā Hararei (In The Holidays); He Taniwha I Te Kāpata (There's A Monster In The Closet); and He Haereere (A Journey).
Spokesperson Charisma Rangipunga says the aim is to encourage families to increase their knowledge and daily use of te reo Māori, with a particular focus on Kāi Tahu dialect. She says all of the books are accompanied by some notes for parents and caregivers which help reinforce the grammar lessons taught and give further tips and ideas for how the language therein can be used in other areas of the home and family environments. Parents are encouraged to let children actively participate in building the book, and to read the books to children until they become familiar with the Māori words. When completed, all four books in the series can be printed out or downloaded for use later. Charisma Rangipunga says the Rūnanga is grateful for the financial support provided by Mā Te Reo to establish the interactive website and encourages others to consider using technology as a way to advance te reo Māori.
I tono a Louis Keepa, (Ngāti Kahungunu ki Waipukurau), kaitiaki rauemi reo Māori, ki a Mā Te Reo mō ētahi āwhina kia āhei a ia ki te tohatoha i ētahi o āna rauemi ki ngā kāinga o tōnā rohe, ki ōna whanaunga hoki.
"Ka haere au ki roto i ngā whare o te whānau whānui, ka whakaaturia e ahau ngā rauemi Māori, hei akoako mā rātou, hei pānui mā rātou, hei whakarongo hoki. Ko te take, kia pakari ai te reo i roto i te kāinga. Ko tēnei te mea nui ki ahau. Ka hoaturia ēnei rauemi rawe rawa atu ki a rātou te whānau, hei tā Louis.
Kua kaha whakapiri mai ngā whānau o roto i te kaupapa nei, ā, he wā mīharo o te wiki te haerenga mai o Louis ki ō rātou kāinga. Ka mea mai a Louis, "Ko te nuinga o rātou he tino pai. He pai ki ngā tamariki kōhanga ngā wā ka haere au ki roto i ō rātou whare. Ka pārekareka rātou me ngā pukapuka, ā, kātahi ka whakaputa i tā rātou e hiahia ana, arā, kia tekau rā anō ngā pukapuka. Whaea, kei te hiahia au i ēnei pukapuka."
He mea nui hoki ēnei mahi ki te hiki i te reo rangatira i roto i ngā kāinga, ki roto hoki i ngā tamariki o ngā kura kaupapa. Ka whakamāramatia mai e Louis, "Hei whakapakari i ō rātou reo, hei tautoko hoki i te mahi o te kura nō te mea kei roto ētahi o ngā tamariki i ngā kura kaupapa. Kei te tino hiahia hoki ō rātou mātua ki te whakapakari ake i ō rātou reo kia pai ake te tautoko i ō rātou tamariki."
He mihi nui tonu i ngā wā katoa mō te pūtea a Mā Te Reo, me ngā tautoko mai a te iwi ki ngā wānanga reo. Ehara i te mea me noho ko te tahua te mea nui, engari, ko ōna hua katoa he āwhina nui.
Ka puta tā mātou pātai ki a Louis, "I pēhea rā te awhi o Mā Te Reo i tāna nei tono?"
"Ae pai rātou, he pai hoki te haere o taku kirimana. I te wā i waea atu au ki a Kelly mā, he pai āna kōrero whakamārama, he rawe rātou ki au. He ngāwari taku haere i raro i tēnei kaupapa."
Koinei te kōrero a Louis hei kupu āwhina mō ngā kaitono o tēnei tau, "Mahia! Mahia te mahi. Nō te mea, ki te kore koe e mahi, e whakarite rānei i tō hiahia, e kore e tutuki. Ki a au nei, Mahia! Wēpua mai!"
For further information please contact a Mā te Reo Project Advisor
on 0800 MA TE REO (628 373),
or email firstname.lastname@example.org