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Brenda Crooks

Tēnā koutou katoa

Ko Paparoa ngā pae maunga

Ko Māwheranui te awa

Nō Māwhera ahau

 

I grew up on the West Coast and have called Wellington my home for most of my adult life. I have always had a drive to learn te reo, but for a Pākehā there was nowhere to learn it in the 80s in Greymouth.

After many short courses as an adult I eventually committed to a degree course in Māori Studies at university. Since gaining my BA I have been involved in the modernising the format and putting macrons in te Paipera Tapu (Bible in Māori).

As a second language learner I have been able to help others with their te reo learning as I understand the learning process and some of the traps that English speakers fall in to.

I’m aware of my privilege in being able to kōrero Māori when so many tangata whenua have missed the opportunity to speak their mother tongue, and the pain that surrounds that.

It’s so encouraging to see the massive interest that non-Māori are having in learning te reo. It can only help in our ability to see the world through another culture’s lens, and to help in the journey of reconcilliation.

He waka eke noa.

We’re in this together.

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