Mokopuna were the motivator for education consultant Lara Meyer to begin her journey towards revitalising te reo Māori in her whānau.
“My Hoa Rangatira (husband) is Ngāti Pikiao/Ngāti Whakaue… His language is lost to him, and I know it concerns him. I want to make sure, for the sake of our mokopuna, te reo Māori is revitalised in our whānau. I want to greet my future moko in te reo Māori when they arrive.”
Lara’s journey began in 2020 with a Level 1 programme at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa in Whirikōkā. Though she recently walked the graduation stage to receive her tohu (qualification) for Level 4 and enrolled into a full immersion Level 5 programme, Lara says that this is still only the beginning.
“I know that learning Te Reo Māori is a tangible way I can acknowledge my support of my Māori whānau members, my friends, students and my hāpori. Learning te reo Māori has been a lifelong ambition of mine and I am not going to stop until I have learned all that I can.”
Lara encourages anyone considering starting their te reo Māori journey to reach out to their nearest Te Wānanga o Aotearoa campus.
“The journey starts with that first step and learning our national language is a lovely adventure. As we get older, we don’t tend to make an effort to learn new skills and we really should because it is good for us. Learning te reo Māori is good for us, good for our whānau, and good for our national cohesion. We should all learn te reo Māori because when we understand the language and culture of our neighbours, we can be a better neighbour.”
Reflecting on her time at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa so far, Lara says she appreciates the support that she’s experienced throughout her journey.
“I have made great friends. I have no whānau apart from my husband in the town I live in, but I feel
my kaiako and my classmates have treated me like whānau. The kaiako are very knowledgeable and they always make you feel as though you are important to them. I never felt stupid, and I never felt alone.”
Find out more about our te reo Māori programmes.