Te Wiki o te Reo Māori 2021

Kia ora koutou

With this week being “Te Wiki o te Reo Māori” (Māori language week), what better time to contribute to the korero and share my Māori language moment. 

This week, I (Liam Bramley) was practicing my pepeha, a form of introduction that establishes identity and heritage, in preparation for my te reo lesson at Abley. I was determined to get the pronunciation correct and speak with confidence to the group. I joined the huitīma (Teams) meeting and we all shared our pepeha, a nervous but proud moment for everyone involved.

There seems to have been a real shift in our country’s perception regarding te reo Māori, with increasing demand to learn and embrace our language. Te reo Māori is starting to become ubiquitous, with the media starting off with a Māori greeting, many emails ending with a te reo sign off, as well as hearing more te reo phrases and words incorporated into everyday speech. Understanding te reo Māori and the ability to korero will be critical for people and businesses to stay ahead. Kupu (words) like “kia ora”, “whānau”, “tamariki”, and “aroha” are becoming part of the way we communicate in Aotearoa, with this trend only likely to increase.

Abley are committed to embracing te reo and have started this journey as a team, giving all staff the opportunity to participate in te reo lessons recently. These lessons have been adopted with great enthusiasm and high participation rates. The lessons have given us confidence in the use of the language, as well as the tools to start incorporating the language into our daily lives.

We started off learning the basics, covering vowel sounds and pronunciation. This is critical as there are many Māori road and place names that we use often, which we want to pronounce correctly. We then progressed to learn greetings, farewells, common questions and phrases, to name a few.

In some of our recent Abley meetings, we have asked each other, “Kei te pēhea koe?” Various people reply with how they are, in te reo. Some common answers are, “kei te pai”, “kei te hiakai ahau”, and “kei te makariri ahau”. These phrases mean they are good, hungry, and cold, suggesting some people need to eat or turn their heaters on. It is great to see so many people wanting to learn the language and engage when given the chance.

Te reo Māori is something that I have not appreciated enough over the years. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to learn the language for one year back in high school which I found enjoyable and inspiring. Since then, I have regrettably not furthered my knowledge and found myself forgetting what I once knew. Having the opportunity to rekindle my interest to learn te reo while at Abley has been fantastic. It is definitely something that will be pursued further.

I’m looking forward to my te reo journey ahead and hope others will feel inspired to keep learning and speaking te reo everyday!

Kia kaha te reo Māori. May our language be strong.
Kia kaha Aotearoa. May our country be strong.
Kia ora Aotearoa. May our people be well.

(Reference:  https://thespinoff.co.nz/atea/te-taura-whiri-i-te-reo-maori/12-09-2021/kia-kaha-the-intergenerational-struggle-to-preserve-te-reo-maori/

Blog written by Liam Bramley, Graduate Transportation Engineer 

Te wiki o te reo