Why Would I Teach My Pākehā Child Te Reo Māori?
I am Pākehā, and I'm learning Te Reo Māori alongside my children to walk the talk of inclusiveness and building a better New Zealand. Language is the basis for connection. Te Reo Māori was the first spoken language of Aotearoa. It is a beautiful language that connects Māori people with each other, their culture, heritage and land. Learning Te Reo Māori is an opportunity for all Kiwi people to connect with our shared heritage.
"Mā te reo e mārama ai te iwi"
Through language we understand
Acknowledging Te Reo Māori and its significance and importance also acknowledges Māori people and culture. It is a taonga for all New Zealanders. We, as New Zealanders, are all responsible for ensuring Te Reo Māori lives on, by sharing this beautiful language with our children.
Racism is synonymous with ignorance.
The only cure for ignorance is education and education starts at home.
We are all New Zealanders, we are one people that should celebrate our differences. Racism is synonymous with ignorance. The only cure for ignorance is education and education starts at home.
"Te mana o te reo"
The power of language
There are three official languages of New Zealand; Te Reo Māori, New Zealand Sign Language and English. Language connects us to our people and our culture. All three languages of Aotearoa are treasures that need to be cherished and shared with each and every generation. We need to teach our children to love all three of the official languages of New Zealand and cherish the people that speak them.
This is why Molly and I created a book for children that incorporates the three official languages of New Zealand. "Kōrero Mai - Speak to Me" It is a book of first words in Te Reo Māori, NZSL and English. It is an interactive book aimed at generating conversation, exploration and discussion. The pictures are simple and defined so that young children can "read" too. This is a book for all New Zealanders. A starting point for appreciating all of the languages of Aotearoa.