Reviving Tai Tokerau Reo

Nov. 18, 2020, 10:04 a.m.

Ko te whakakaha i te reo Māori, ko te aropū anō hoki ki ngā mita me ngā kōrero tuku iho o Te Tai Tokerau hei whāngai i ngā taumata o te kāinga te whāinga a te wānanga Te Taumata i tū inā tata nei ki te marae o Ngāwhā.

Strengthening te reo Māori with an emphasis on the dialects and teachings of Te Tai Tokerau to replenish orators’ benches at home is a key focus for the Te Taumata reo wānanga which took place recently at Ngāwhā Marae.

Neke atu i te 90 ngā uri o Te Whare Tapu o Ngāpuhi i whai wāhi atu ki te hui tuarua o tōna momo, ka mutu, i whāngāihia ki ngā kura mātauranga a ngā mumu reo pēnei ki a Moe Milne, Quinton Hita, Tātai Henare, Te Kurataiaho Kapea, me ētahi atu. 

More than 90 descendants of Te Whare Tapu o Ngāpuhi attended the second event of it’s kind, soaking in the wisdom of local reo Māori exponents such as Moe Milne, Quinton Hita, Tātai Henare and Te Kurataiaho Kapea, among others.

E ai ki te raraunga Census 2018, 9.9 ōrau o ngā kainoho ki Te Tai Tokerau, he kōrero Māori, kua tāparatia te nama kōrero Māori ā-motu, ko te 4 ōrau kē tērā. Heoi, e matapaetia ana, neke atu i te haurua o ngā uri Māori 125,700 e kī nei he Ngāpuhi rātou, e noho ana i waho i te rohe kāinga, nā reira, he uaua te āhua o te reo te ine.

According to Census 2018 data, 9.9% of Northland residents speak te reo Māori, more than twice that of the national percentage of reo Māori speakers which is 4%. However, it’s estimated that over half of the 125,700 Māori who identify as being of Ngāpuhi descent live outside the region, making things difficult to measure.

Ko tā te pūkōrero Ngāti Hine, tā Moe Milne, e mārama ana te kitea, o te hunga e kōrero ana i te reo Māori, te nuinga he kōhanga reo te taumata, ka mutu, kāore i reira te hōhonutanga o te mātauranga kia pūāwai ai te reo, ka mutu, kia heke iho i roto i ngā reanga.

Ngāti Hine Māori language stalwart Moe Milne says the reality is, even of those who do speak te reo Māori, most are at a beginners level and lack the depth of knowledge required for the language to thrive and for successful transmission to take place.

Hei tā Quinton Hita, te kairiro i te tohu 2020 Waitī mō tōna kaha i roto i ngā mahi whakarauora reo, ahurea anō hoki, he taupā reo e kitea ana i waenga i ngā kaikōrero o ēnei rā me ngā kaumatua, ā, mā te whakawhiti kōrero tēnei taupā hei turaki. 

According to Quinton Hita, recipient of the 2020 Waitī Award for championing the revitalisation of language and culture, there’s a communication barrier between newer speakers and kaumātua which can be remedied through open dialogue.

Āpiti atu ki tērā, ko te tohu o te angitū o ngā kaupapa whakarauora reo ki Te Tai Tokerau pēnei ki Te Taumata, kaua ko te kapo noa iho i ngā mita, i ngā tangi, me ngā kōrero tuku iho engari kia paoro ēnei taonga e hau anō ai te rongo.

He says an indicator of the success of revitalisation initiatives in the North such as Te Taumata, would be that the unique dialects, sounds and narratives of Te Tai Tokerau are not only preserved but heard widely again.

Kua mana ngā whakaritenga mō te hui e kainamu mai nei, ka tū Te Taumata 2021 ki Whangārei mai i te 17 ki te 23 o Hānuere.

Details for the next wānanga have been set, with Te Taumata 2021 being held in Whangārei from the 17th to the 23rd of January.

Mō te whānuitanga ō ngā kōrero, mātakihia te whitiāhua kei runga ake.

For more on this story, watch the clip above.

Tags: Te Reo Māori Culture

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