Glenfield youngsters learn with actions rather than writing while still learning to read and write in English.

Year 2 students at Glenfield's Mānuka Primary School are still learning to read and write in English - but they are already learning te reo Māori too. They learn with actions rather than writing.

"Whaea says ki runga [Aunty says up]," the teacher says. Hands go up in the air.
"Whaea says ki raro." Hands go down.

Counting is done on fingers. Arms stretch to named parts of the body. The children are constantly stood up and sat down.

Schools like Mānuka, where only 12 per cent of students are Māori and the rest hail from around the globe, are making a real effort to give every child a basic knowledge of te reo.
The school uses a programme called Te Reo Tuatahi (First Language). Language assistants such as Mereana Marsters, who also works two days a week at a Māori immersion school in Mairangi Bay, spend half an hour a week with each class in the participating schools.

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Another assistant, Luana Kelland, was a fulltime teacher at Mānuka until she had her own children.

"I started learning te reo Māori myself, because I am Māori and it was really important to me, and I got the opportunity to work with Te Reo Tuatahi," she said.

"Māori children do take an interest because it's an identity thing for them. My Māori students are usually right up front. But kids from all backgrounds are very engaged in it because they know this is New Zealand. They are familiar with the haka from the All Blacks."

Only 10 per cent of all Māori children attend Māori-immersion schools where more than half the teaching is in te reo, and a further 5 per cent learn in te reo for at least three hours a week. The other 85 per cent of Māori, and 99.5 per cent of non-Māori, are in mainstream schools like Mānuka.

Te Reo Tuatahi has now spread to 25 North Shore schools and to Blockhouse Bay Intermediate, Kōhia Terrace (Epsom) and Point View (Dannemora), reaching almost 10,000 pupils. But co-ordinator Raewyn Harrison worries that it remains precarious because it depends on the schools' operations grants. At Mānuka, principal Linda Munkowits can afford the programme for only nine of her 13 classes.

Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell has visited it and asked Education Minister Hekia Parata to visit too, but she has not yet done so.

Dr Graham Stoop, the Education Ministry's head of student achievement, said the programme was "just the sort of initiative that school operational grants are designed to cover".

"All schools are expected to provide their students with opportunities to learn to reo Māori," he said. "Schools are required to take all reasonable steps to provide instruction in te reo Māori for students whose parents ask for it."

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Māori Language Commission acting chief Tuehu Harris said it had limited funds for community initiatives but school programmes should be funded by the Education Ministry.

On the web:
www.tereotuatahi.co.nz
www.tereomaori.tki.org.nz

Te reo Māori translation

Kei te ako tonu ngā tauira tau tuarua o te Kura Tuatahi o Mānuka i Glenfield, ki te pānui me te tuhituhi ki te reo Ingarihi - kei te ako anō hoki i te reo Māori. Ko te whiu i ngā ringa te ara pai mō tēnei, kaua te tuhituhi. "Ka kī ake a Whaea, ki runga, kua toro whakarunga ngā ringa. Ka kī ake a Whaea, ki raro, kua heke ngā ringa.

Tatau ai ngā tamariki ki ō rātou matimati. Tohu ai ngā ringa ki ngā wāhanga o te tinana e whakahuatia ana. He tū tonu, he noho tonu te mahi a ngā tamariki.

E tino whakapau kaha ana ngā kura pērā i a Mānuka ki te whāngai i te reo ki ngā tamariki katoa, inā rā, 12 ōrau noa ngā tauira Māori kei tērā o ngā kura, ko te nuinga atu i ahu mai i te ao whānui.

Ko Te Reo Tuatahi te kaupapa e kawea ana e te kura. E whakapaua ana e ngā kaiāwhina pērā i a Mereana Marsters tētahi hāwhe haora i te wiki ki tēnā, ki tēna o ngā kura e kawe ana i tēnei o ngā kaupapa, haere atu ai hoki ia ki te mahi i te kura rumaki i Mairangi Bay.

Arā anō tētahi kaiāwhina, a Luana Kelland, i noho hei pouako tūturu i Mānuka, ā, whānau rawa mai āna ake tamariki.

E ai ki tāna, "I tīmata taku ako i te reo Māori i te mea he Māori ahau, he mea nui hoki te reo ki a au. Kātahi au ka whai wāhi atu ki Te Reo Tuatahi."

"E kaingākau ana te tamariki Māori ki te reo i te mea kei reira tō rātou tuakiritanga. He noho tonu aku tauira Māori ki mua. Ahakoa nō hea mai ngā tamariki, he pai ki a rātou te whai wāhi mai i te mea e mōhio ana rātou ko Aotearoa tēnei. Nā te Kapa o Pango, e mōhio ana rātou ki te haka."

O ngā tamariki Māori katoa, 10 ōrau noa e haere ana ki ngā kura rumaki. I ēnei kura, neke atu i te haurua o ngā mahi e whakaakona ana ki te reo Māori. Ko tētahi 5 ōrau e whakaakona ana ki te reo Māori mō te 3 hāora i te wiki, neke atu rānei. Ko tētahi 85 ōrau o ngā tamariki Māori, me tētahi 99.5 ōrau o iwi kē, e haere ana ki ngā kura auraki pērā i a Mānuka.

Kua hōrapa Te Reo Tuatahi ki ētahi kura e 25 i North Shore, ki te Kura Waenga o Blockhouse Bay, ki Kōhia Terrace (Epsom) me Point View (Dannemora). E tae atu ana ki tētahi 10,000 tauira.

Engari e māharahara ana tōna kaikōtui, a Raewyn Harrison, ki te noho pāhekeheke o te kaupapa, ko ngā moni whakahaere o te kura kē hoki kei te utu. I te kura o Mānuka, ka taea noa e tōna tumuaki, a Linda Munkowits, te utu mō ētahi akomanga e iwa o roto i te 13.

Kua tae atu te Minita Whakawhanake Māori, a Te Ururoa Flavell, ki a rātou, kua inoia hoki e ia te Minita Mātauranga, a Hekia Parata, kia haere ake anō ko ia, engari kāore anō ia i tae atu.

Hei tā Dr Graham Stoop, te upoko mō te ekenga o ngā tauira i te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga, "Koinei tonu te momo kaupapa e tika ana kia utua e te pūtea whakahaere o te kura."
Hei tāna anō, "E tika ana kia tū he kaupapa i ngā kura katoa hei whakaako i te reo Māori ki ngā tamariki." "Me āta whai ngā kura kia haere ngā whakaakoranga ki te reo Māori, mehemea koirā te hiahia o ngā mātua."

Hei tā Tuehu Harris, te tumuaki takawaenga o Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori, kāore i nui te pūtea e wātea ana ki ngā kaupapa a te hapori, engari ko ngā kaupapa a te ngā kura, mā te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga kē ērā e utu.

Kei te ipurangi:
www.tereotuatahi.co.nz
www.tereomaori.tki.org.nz