Passion for te reo drives teachers

By Greg Taipari

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Waimaria Paenga (left), Warena Wainohu and Rawinia Paringatai say Maori Language Week is a great time to celebrate the beauty of the native tongue.Photo/Warren Buckland
Waimaria Paenga (left), Warena Wainohu and Rawinia Paringatai say Maori Language Week is a great time to celebrate the beauty of the native tongue.Photo/Warren Buckland

When it comes to passion for te reo Maori, you don't need to look any further than this trio.

Warena Wainohu, 42, Waimaria Paenga, 24, and Rawinia Paringatai, 29, are kaiako (teachers) at Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Te Wananga Whare Tapere o Takitimu on Albert St, Hastings.

Mr Wainohu, a Ngati Kahungunu descendant, has been teaching for about four years.

He says it is a great job and although their school celebrates Maori Language Week every day, it is vital to have a week dedicated to New Zealand's native language.

"Maori Language Week is important for the whole of New Zealand in that it promotes the reo," he says. "For us, we don't necessarily need a week because we speak it every day.

"But it's important for the rest of New Zealand for them to realise that there is another reo here and that it's indigenous to Aotearoa/New Zealand."

This week is Maori Language Week. Te reo Maori is an official New Zealand language, alongside English and sign language.

Maori Language Week's theme this year is "Te Kupu o te Wiki" (the word of the week) and 50 new Maori words will be introduced to the nation over 50 weeks - that's one new word a week over a year.

After 50 weeks, New Zealanders will have 50 new Maori words in their vocabulary.

Ms Paenga, a Ngati Kahungunu/Ngati Porou descendant, said New Zealand was great to celebrate te reo Maori.

"To me, it's a celebration ofthe beauty and uniqueness ofour reo and our culture," MsPaenga said.

Being able to teach the language in an environment such as their kura was a privilege, said Ms Paringatai, who can also whakapapa to Ngati Kahungunu and Ngati Porou.

"The uniqueness of this kura is we are probably one of the smallest kura kaupapa in Kahungunu and the whanau environment is great."

It must be because all three have tamariki (children) who have studied at the kura.

Maori version:

E maromahue ana enei tokotoru ki te reo Maori.

Ko Warena Wainohu 42, Waimaria Paenga, 24 ratou ko Rawinia Paringatai, 29. Ko etahi o nga kaiwhakaako o te Kura Kaupapa Maori o te Wananga Whare Tapere o Takitimu. Kei te tiriti o Albert ki Heretaunga.

He uri a Warena o Ngati Kahungunu. E wha tau ia e whakaako ana i nga tamariki o te kura nei. I ki mai ia, "He mea nui te wiki o te reo Maori mo nga iwi katoa o Aotearoa. Kia whai whakaaro ratou mo to tatou reo.

"Kia whakanui ratou i to tatou reo, kia tipu hoki to ratou aroha mo te reo. Ko te reo Maori te reo tuturu o Aotearoa, i ahu mai i konei. He taonga te reo. Heoi e tika ana kia ako nga iwi katoa o Aotearoa i etahi kupu mama. Kia nui haere to ratou puna kupu."

He uri a Waimaria Paenga o Ngati Kahungunu, o Ngati Porou. I ki mai ia, "Ae me whakanui tatou i te reo Maori ka tika! Ki ahau nei, ko te tino ataahuatanga o te reo, ko te whakanui i te mana motuhaketanga o te reo.

"He honore nui te whakaako i te reo Maori ki nga tamariki o to matou kura."

Ko te whakaaro tera o Rawinia Paringatai. He uri o Ngati Kahungunu, o Ngati Porou hoki.

"He wahi motuhake tenei to matou kura na tana iti, ka puta ko nga ahutanga o te whanau me te manaaki. Ahakoa he iti, e tika ana he mapihi pounamu."

- Hawkes Bay Today

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