Whether we realise it or not, whether we speak Māori fluently or only a little, every time we put pen to paper, or raise our voice to sing, or stand up to recite mōteatea, we draw on foundations that go back centuries. We reach deep into literary traditions that are colourful, vibrant, rich and entertaining. It's in us. It's part of who we are.
'People often have this very narrow view of what te reo can do. People think that Māori stories amount to myths and legends. But that's such a limited perspective. Our language has incredible range. We can traverse all genres and styles. We can do anything with te reo, and do it well.'

Learn Māori with Te Ataarangi

Shame is one of the biggest barriers many of us face in learning Māori. The word whakamā means “to whiten” yet it’s so much weightier than that. Shame and fear of speaking Māori isn’t something that only affects shy people. Even the most confident speakers can lose their voice sometimes. I’ve heard people deliver powerful prepared […]

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Ability does not define us.

Twenty years ago I graduated from Whitireia Polytech with a Certificate in Journalism. I scraped through with a minimum pass and a faint congratulatory smile from the head of the Journalism School, Geoff Baylis. He was a legend in his day, as a former editor of The Dominion who had been briefly famous for taking […]

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EDUCATION HAS LONG BEEN USED AS A WAY OF NORMALISING ONE SET OF IDEAS AND VALUES OVER ANOTHER. IT’S COLONISATION BY STEALTH. A BATTLE FOR OUR HEARTS AND MINDS, USING WORDS AND IDEAS AS WEAPONS. THAT’S WHY, WHEN WE SAY WE WANT HISTORY TO BE COMPULSORY IN SCHOOLS, WE NEED TO REALISE THAT THE CHALLENGE IS AS MUCH TO UNLEARN THE HISTORY THAT HAS ALREADY BEEN TAUGHT, AS IT IS TO TRY AND TEACH A NEW, “OBJECTIVE” HISTORY.

Love at First Sight?

I was 24 when I had my first baby. I’d just started Uni and it seemed like a good use of time. I wrote assignments while he slept, substituted text books for picture books. I used to tuck him into his push chair with a hottie and a blanket, a cocoon against the bitter Wellington chill, […]

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