26 Sep 2021

He Kakano Ahau Series 2 - Tōku Reo Tōku Ohooho

From Te Ahi Kaa, 6:06 pm on 26 September 2021
Kahu Kutia and Dr Vini Olsen-Reeder.

Kahu Kutia and Dr Vini Olsen-Reeder. Photo: Kirsten Johnstone

Te Ahi Kaa features the award winning series He Kakano Ahau. In Season 2 – Wawatatia, presenter Kahu Kutia explores what the future aspirations are for te reo Māori.

Dr Vini Olsen-Reeder and Te Aweawe Rehutai are second language learners of te reo Māori.

Vini has whakapapa links to Nga Pōtiki, Ngati Ranginui and Tūhourangi but grew up in Whanganui for the most part disconnected from his iwi and hapū.  It wasn’t until he switched from music studies to te reo Māori that he fell in love with the language.  In 2017 he was the first student from the institution to publish his PhD doctoral thesis in te reo Māori.  A Senior lecturer of te reo Māori his story is one of perseverance, commitment and encouraging others.

Te Herenga Waka Marae

Te Herenga Waka Marae Photo: Kirsten Johnstone

Kahu Kutia is a former student of Reeder, they meet up at Te Herenga Waka Marae for a kōrero about the negative narratives associated with ‘a dying language’ and the aspirations for the language to flourish.

Te Aweawe Ruawai lives in Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland) and has whakapapa to Tūhoe, Te Whanau a Apanui but has lived away from home.  A speaker of te reo Māori, she has had to overcome her own struggle with fear, and attributes this to the intergenerational historical trauma of being punished for speaking te reo Māori.

Te Aweawe Ruawai nō Tuhoe, Te Whanau a Apanui.

Te Aweawe Ruawai nō Tuhoe, Te Whanau a Apanui. Photo: Dylan Cook

Ruawai understands the impact this has to today's rangatahi and the disassociation many young people have with their tūrangawaewae (tribal lands), she shares her story with Kahu Kutia.

He Kakano Ahau – Wawatatia.  For more information about this episode Tōku Reo Tōku Ohooho, find the full episode here.

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Photo: RNZ/NZ On Air