When Mako Jones became a grandmother, she knew it was time to let her own light shine.
"My mokopuna deserve to know te reo, no matter how young or old," she says.
"One started kura this year and I have two mokopuna at the kohanga. Because of them, I decided that I should begin to journey back to enhance my reo."
Mako says she needed to "patua te whakama" and get on with the business of speaking to benefit her whanau.
To do this she enrolled on the foundational full immersion Te Reo Māori course at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, the Certificate in Te Pūtaketanga o te Reo.
The Level 4, 36-week programme provided Mako with the calm and encouraging environment she needed to help overcome her shyness.
To follow up, she has taken up the next challenge, a Diploma in Te Aupikitanga ki te Reo Kairangi.
LIke its precursor, this Level 6 course involves learning designed to help students articulate themselves meaningfully in te reo Māori.
"Te Aupikitanga has encouraged me to be confident to stand and kōrero." says the Ngāti Pahauwera weaver.
"It has given me a platform to carry on through the work I do within the community of Taranaki. I use te reo in the raranga programs, to encourage the learner that there is another way to enhance te reo Māori,"
As well as teaching raranga, Mako is also a member of Te Kohikohinga raranga roopu, Te Roopu Raranga Whatu o Aotearoa and active within her kohanga reo whānau.
"With my children I am able to converse with them in te reo. We all speak te reo to each other on our daily ride to kura and kohanga," says Mako.
"It is up to me to teach them what I know about te ao Māori for they are our leaders of the future. This Aupikitanga program is more than I expected, it has been awesome. Tumeke! Ka patu koutou te whakama!"