Toto Pakeha, reo Maori

Ko Titirangi te maunga
Ko Turanganui te awa
Ko Captain Hobson te waka
Ko Te raukura te Marae
Ko - ahau

I’m sorry if my pronunciation was a bit off, this is probably because I am a full blooded pakeha with ancestors from Europe and Australia. Hence why my marae is the school’s and I don’t really have a waka.

Toto pakeha, Reo Maori: my blood is pakeha, but my second language is Maori.

I am currently learning Maori in Mrs Tangaroa’s year 10 class. Today I will attempt to give you an insight to my language experience as a pakeha. Why I took the subject, what the work is like for me and the advantages that this subject provides.

Growing up I was surrounded by Maori people, boys and girls at school as my best friends and on the sports field.

Their culture was so different to my own. Their sense of family and home, their myths and legends, their pride in their own history and ancestors. I just love it all.

It could also have had to do with the fact that I was never allowed to learn about it growing up because I was part of a Christian family and we didn’t know what we were saying during Kapa haka and karakias.

I don’t regret it because I love learning about it now with a deeper understanding. I jumped at the opportunity in year nine to start learning about it and I enjoy the experiences I get given through this subject.

I don’t, however, enjoy all of the work we get. I struggle with pronunciation on a daily basis and sometimes get sentences and words mixed up. As someone who has been raised only speaking English my entire life, I found it really hard at the start.

I still find it difficult but I know how to cope and find out information better now. Over the two years I have been taking this subject I have had to write three speeches, two essays and an infinite amount of sentences, structures and translations.

I will be honest and say I am not a very motivated person but because I hate failing, I do extra research and practise to make sure I have all the information needed.

So on top of my constant tied tongue during speeches and my two tonne bag full of homework, I do extra work to catch up on all the years I missed.

But while I struggle with all this work, I find that I enjoy this subject more than most. It challenges me and I am learning to figure things out myself without loads of controlling rules or guidelines.

There is a massive debate that NZ has been dealing with for a while and that is that Maori should be compulsory. I am standing here as a full European female, saying I hope it is when I send my kids to school.

While my view may not count for much I think that it should definitely be compulsory for at least a few years of school. My three main reasons being that we live in New Zealand and I feel that Maori people have sacrificed so much to make peace. They use our education system, they don’t speak Maori in class, they share sacred land with us such as Mt Hikurangi and Cape Reinga, and I think the least we could do is acknowledge this and show a little appreciation for them.

My second reason is that throughout the time we have populated this country Maori people haven’t been treated equally. I mean if a pakeha and a Maori were walking away from the crime scene nine times out of 10, who would you suspect? Who would you think would have committed it? This is called racism.

Unemployment rates are so much higher for them and Maori are statistically more likely to commit a crime to feed their family. This has to do with unemployment and land loss.

The stats are getting better from my understanding but taking a step toward being equal would benefit us all greatly, simply by helping us to understand each other.

Which leads to my third reason. A question was raised during this debate that asks ‘where will it get us in the future?’

Well many employers are looking for people who have good communication skills, and being bilingual just happens to be a good skill to have. Plus when you’re overseas and asked about your home country, it would be kind of sad not knowing about your country itself and its history before we arrived.

As I close this article off, I just want to leave you with a quote from a good friend of mine. She said that the only way to truly forgive and know each other is to understand each other.

We need both sides of the story and history but currently most are only getting one of those sides, whichever it may be. Toto pakeha, Reo Maori.... My blood is pakeha, my second language is Maori. Why?... Why not???

Ko Titirangi te maunga
Ko Turanganui te awa
Ko Endeavour te waka
Ko Te raukura te Marae
Ko - ahau
Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou katoa

Ko Titirangi te maunga
Ko Turanganui te awa
Ko Captain Hobson te waka
Ko Te raukura te Marae
Ko - ahau

I’m sorry if my pronunciation was a bit off, this is probably because I am a full blooded pakeha with ancestors from Europe and Australia. Hence why my marae is the school’s and I don’t really have a waka.

Toto pakeha, Reo Maori: my blood is pakeha, but my second language is Maori.

I am currently learning Maori in Mrs Tangaroa’s year 10 class. Today I will attempt to give you an insight to my language experience as a pakeha. Why I took the subject, what the work is like for me and the advantages that this subject provides.

Growing up I was surrounded by Maori people, boys and girls at school as my best friends and on the sports field.

Their culture was so different to my own. Their sense of family and home, their myths and legends, their pride in their own history and ancestors. I just love it all.

It could also have had to do with the fact that I was never allowed to learn about it growing up because I was part of a Christian family and we didn’t know what we were saying during Kapa haka and karakias.

I don’t regret it because I love learning about it now with a deeper understanding. I jumped at the opportunity in year nine to start learning about it and I enjoy the experiences I get given through this subject.

I don’t, however, enjoy all of the work we get. I struggle with pronunciation on a daily basis and sometimes get sentences and words mixed up. As someone who has been raised only speaking English my entire life, I found it really hard at the start.

I still find it difficult but I know how to cope and find out information better now. Over the two years I have been taking this subject I have had to write three speeches, two essays and an infinite amount of sentences, structures and translations.

I will be honest and say I am not a very motivated person but because I hate failing, I do extra research and practise to make sure I have all the information needed.

So on top of my constant tied tongue during speeches and my two tonne bag full of homework, I do extra work to catch up on all the years I missed.

But while I struggle with all this work, I find that I enjoy this subject more than most. It challenges me and I am learning to figure things out myself without loads of controlling rules or guidelines.

There is a massive debate that NZ has been dealing with for a while and that is that Maori should be compulsory. I am standing here as a full European female, saying I hope it is when I send my kids to school.

While my view may not count for much I think that it should definitely be compulsory for at least a few years of school. My three main reasons being that we live in New Zealand and I feel that Maori people have sacrificed so much to make peace. They use our education system, they don’t speak Maori in class, they share sacred land with us such as Mt Hikurangi and Cape Reinga, and I think the least we could do is acknowledge this and show a little appreciation for them.

My second reason is that throughout the time we have populated this country Maori people haven’t been treated equally. I mean if a pakeha and a Maori were walking away from the crime scene nine times out of 10, who would you suspect? Who would you think would have committed it? This is called racism.

Unemployment rates are so much higher for them and Maori are statistically more likely to commit a crime to feed their family. This has to do with unemployment and land loss.

The stats are getting better from my understanding but taking a step toward being equal would benefit us all greatly, simply by helping us to understand each other.

Which leads to my third reason. A question was raised during this debate that asks ‘where will it get us in the future?’

Well many employers are looking for people who have good communication skills, and being bilingual just happens to be a good skill to have. Plus when you’re overseas and asked about your home country, it would be kind of sad not knowing about your country itself and its history before we arrived.

As I close this article off, I just want to leave you with a quote from a good friend of mine. She said that the only way to truly forgive and know each other is to understand each other.

We need both sides of the story and history but currently most are only getting one of those sides, whichever it may be. Toto pakeha, Reo Maori.... My blood is pakeha, my second language is Maori. Why?... Why not???

Ko Titirangi te maunga
Ko Turanganui te awa
Ko Endeavour te waka
Ko Te raukura te Marae
Ko - ahau
Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou katoa

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