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Pare Edmonds and Jonathon Glanville: Tauira Te Wānanga o Aotearoa

Pare Edmonds and Jonathon Glanville may come from differing backgrounds and lead distinct personal lives, but one thing they do have in common is their love for te reo Māori and their dedication to master the language.

21 year old Pare decided it was time to reconnect with her Māori heritage and restore the language, which had been taken from her grandparents, to her whānau.

"Te reo was something we didn't have much of growing up, but I wanted to change that for my family and future generations," says Pare.

Although Jonathon is not of Māori descent, he found a desire to learn te reo, that developed from his existing passion for rongoā and a growing interest in Māori culture and tikanga.

“For a number of years, I thought about learning te reo. It’s something that’s always been there in the back of my mind. I felt that I’ve been missing something and it turns out it was te reo,” says Jonathon.

In conjunction with martial arts, studying te reo Māori has also had a positive impact on Jonathon’s mental health, helping him feel more grounded in life.

“The journey I have been on with my reo has been amazing, the programme and the learning has helped directly with my mental health. I feel more centred, it’s the wairua side of things and the healing that comes with being in touch with your own wairua,” says Jonathon.

As a young Māori wahine, Pare was originally nervous about learning te reo as she thought she would face judgement for not already knowing the language. But she was happily surprised that this was not the case.

“My kaiako, Sally, made me comfortable and I felt I was in a safe space. That was the biggest thing for me when I started my journey was being comfortable and knowing that, yes I am Māori, but I’m still trying to pick up my language and that’s okay,” says Pare

Both Pare and Jonathon are continuing on their reo journey this year, studying He Pī ka Rere, levels 3 and 4, and are excited to see what this next stage has in store for them.

“I’m looking forward to getting into that next level of conversation, building on those sentence structures that we have already learnt and being able to have more kōrero with people,” says Jonathon.

Learn more about our reo Māori (language) programmes

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Published On: 20 March 2024

Article By: Cassia Ngaruhe

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