A Porirua couple learning te reo Māori together have come a long way in a relatively short time but say they still have a long way to go.
Tamzin Maki-Tuara had a couple of years of te reo Māori behind her from soon after she left school but kicked off her current learning with the Te Ara Reo Māori Level 2 programme at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa in 2013.
Her husband Adam enrolled on the Level 4 Te Pūtaketanga o te Reo programme in 2015.
Tamzin progressed through Te Ara Reo Māori Level 4 to the Level 6 Te Aupikitanga ki te Reo Kairangi last year, where she was joined by Adam.
They both plan to tackle the Level 7 Te Pīnakitanga ki te Reo Kairangi next year.
Adam says while he learned some te reo Māori at school, he was never that interested until Tamzin enrolled.
“I learned it at Ōtaki College but that was because my mum made me do it,” he says.
“I didn’t see the point in it and didn’t care much about it. When I left school I left it behind.”
Tamzin says she took up the challenge of learning te reo Māori when she started work at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa.
“Working here inspired me to do it and we want our kids to be immersed in the reo. We try to make it normal at home and we try to make our babies speak as much te reo as we can.”
The couple say studying together has so far proved a winning combination.
“We bounce off each other and it works really good,” Adam says.
“There are quite a few couple learning together and a lot of our classmates say we’re lucky to have someone to speak with at home. If there’s something I didn’t pick up, she will pick it up.”
Although they’ve advanced a lot since 2013, Tamzin says there’s still some way to go.
“I'm motivated to keep going because we've put a lot into it. It’s a never-ending journey, we’re always learning.”