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Marlborough’s mayor John Leggett (second from left) says doing te reo at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa has given him confidence to kōrero in public. With him (left to right) at his recent graduation from the level 2 course are Marlborough Harbourmaster Luke Grogan (left), his Executive Assistant Jill Crossman (second right) along with kaiako Hine Bartlett and local Te Wānanga o Aotearoa manager Peter Joseph. Mayoress Anne Best also graduated. 

Marlborough’s mayor John Leggett has just graduated from Level 2 Te Ara Reo Māori (He Pī Ka Pao).

He says his study at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa has given him confidence to kōrero when doing public speaking and made him comfortable with tikanga.

The mayor undertook levels 1 and 2 to establish a base level of competency in pronunciation and an ability to kōrero place names and kupu correctly, as well as to understand tikanga. 

His office says he recognises that the presence and use of te reo, and its use in a community, are symbolic of identity.

This is particularly relevant in signalling goodwill in engaging with tangata whenua, the iwi of Te Tau Ihu.

Mayor Leggett says it was a privilege to study at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, that he found classes most enjoyable and is very appreciative of the investment and dedication of kaiako Hine Bartlett and support from kaiwhakahaere ako Peter Joseph.

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