The role of Pākehā

is to support

I spent the last couple of lockdowns in bubbles with two of my children and their partners who are trying to raise their two-year-old daughters as Māori speakers. And that took me back 40 years to the time their mum, Alison, and I were doing the same for them.

I’m a Pākehā who grew up having absolutely no clue about Māori anything. When I enrolled to learn Māori at Victoria University in 1974, I had no idea that Māori was a spoken language — and I still don’t quite know why I took Māori. I guess I thought it’d be like learning Spanish or Italian. Alison is Māori, and, like many of her generation, grew up without te reo Māori.

But we were members of Te Reo Māori Society, and committed to promoting recognition and use of te reo Māori, through political actions, submissions to Parliament, ministers, heads of government departments and public broadcasters, petitions on various topics, and running a Māori language resource centre in town.

Link to article: The role of Pākehā is to support - E-Tangata


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