Annie | Lyttelton

Annie Potts | May 2021

I believe te reo is unique and distinct to Aotearoa, it is the first language of these islands, and as such it is a taonga and should be compulsory as a subject from early child education upwards, just as the English language is.
I believe te reo is unique and distinct to Aotearoa, it is the first language of these islands, and as such it is a taonga and should be compulsory as a subject from early child education upwards, just as the English language is. I am fifth generation Pākehā and view my own identity as intricately bound to Māori culture too. It is both my duty (as someone whose ancestors invaded Aotearoa and betrayed the indigenous people) and my pleasure (as someone who loves the language) to learn, respect and promote te reo Māori. Pākehā need to support the growth of te reo Māori in institutions and everyday life. Our ancestors tried to banish it from native speakers, to stop it being spoken; now it is imperative we support its growth and vibrancy, and treasure it as the original indigenous language or Aotearoa. Kia kaha te reo Māori!