Mentoring helps with te reo goals

By Lani Kereopa

A Rotorua woman will face one of her greatest fears with the help of international toastmaster and local funnyman Kingi Biddle this week.

After having a "confidence in public speaking makeover", Miria Flavell, 23, will be interviewed in te reo Maori by her idol, seasoned broadcaster Julian Wilcox, for Ka Tu, Ka Korero on Maori Television.

The series, which is set to screen later this year, will see people with a fear of public speaking undergo a "makeover" by Biddle with personalised mentoring and workshops, to help them "unlock the gift of korero" and complete a challenge based around their fears.

Miss Flavell, who will graduate with a Bachelor of Maori Development mastering in Maori Media in August, said she had always wanted to get into broadcasting but felt she needed a confidence boost if she was ever to land a job presenting or interviewing in te reo Maori.

"Even though I was brought up speaking te reo, I have the confidence to do it in te reo Pakeha [English] but not in te reo Maori, especially if I have to talk to people who are really matatau [expert speakers]."

She said after two "full-on" days with Biddle doing exercises, activities and interviews, she had started to feel more confident.

"You are put on the spot which is scary. I was taken to Radio Waatea and interviewed by an announcer in te reo in the radio suite. I didn't know how good his reo was or what he was going to ask me," she said.

"But Kingi was awesome at mentoring me to reach my goals. He definitely suits the role ... He's been through it all before himself."

Miss Flavell said she recommended the mentoring and taking up the challenge to anyone who needed confidence to go ahead with any kind of speech or pitch.

"It would be good for a person who wants to propose to someone but doesn't have the guts to do it, or who wants to do their first whaikorero [oration]," she said.

The producers of Ka Tu, Ka Korero are looking for five more people to appear on the show. Call (09) 360 0766 or, by email:

- Rotorua Daily Post

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