I live in Aotearoa (New Zealand) and although brought up in Hongoeka Marae (a Māori community) I speak very little te reo Māori. For years this has plagued me. I have made multiple attempts to learn te reo but have been thwarted by conflicting priorities to the point that I never thought I would progress.
I then had the realisation that many Kiwis (New Zealanders) are in the same boat as I am.
My new strategy is to continue to increase my proficiency in ‘kōrero Kiwi’ in the hope one day the gap between my worlds may shorten to the point that I may be more confident to try to speak more sentences and conversations in te reo Māori.
Why learn kōrero Kiwi?
kōrero Kiwi is for those of us wishing to transition to speaking more fluent te reo Māori and for those also who just want to develop kōrero Kiwi as the bridge between our two national speaking languages in Aotearoa/New Zealand.
With so much debate and fear over the idea of co-partnership, this is a great way to learn what it really can mean and achieve, in my humble (whakamōwai) opinion.
For me personally, this approach is more likely to work as I encounter more speakers of both te reo Māori and kōrero Kiwi my fluency in both these languages is more likely to improve. I might never become an expert in te reo Māori but I am sure to become an expert in kōrero Kiwi before I clock out and join my tīpuna (ancestors). I know they will approve of my approach even if now else does.
So what is kōrero Kiwi?
kōrero Kiwi starts with the English language as the base and starts to include te reo Māori words and or common phrases and use them in everyday life.
My presumption is that we will create a kaitā talent pool of Kiwis who speak our language. By doing this, we will learn more te reo Māori from a larger pool of people who are just as comfortable and uncomfortable with this process as I am.
Every New Zealand can learn to kōrero Kiwi. There are no levels of expertise, you learn at your own pace in your own tāima. For those wishing to learn te reo Māori quickly this may not be for you. However, for those of us who would rather learn at a pace we control this is an option. Te reo Māori speakers become experts in kōrero Kiwi immediately and have the koha of helping other kōrero Kiwi speakers learn more Māori words and phrases.
A unified approach to bring our nation closer together 🙂
The other great thing is no resources are needed to develop our language as there is maha resources available to learn both Māori words and phrases you can add to your conversations.
The other wonderful thing is there are thousands of you who already kōrero Kiwi, and this will help us grow our kaupapa Māori – unity.
If you like my approach then come join my Pukamata group and help get our language up and running.
ko tainui te waka
ko whitireia te maunga
ko raukawakawa te moana
ko ngāti toa rangatira te iwi
ko kenakena te awa
ko hongoeka te marae
ko te heke Mai Raro te whare tupuna
ko tony cutting ahau