Lincoln - Whakatane

Photo of Lincoln - Whakatane
Because Te Reo is an important part of New Zealand.
Because Te Reo is an important part of New Zealand. Here is my Speech which won first place in Whakatane Intermediate School's Speech Comp: WHACK, Don’t you say Kia Ora in my school! WHACK, Maori is not allowed Rangi! My great grandmother’s first language was te reo Maori but sadly she was caned in school for speaking her reo. Consequently, my nan, my mum and now I have fallen victim to not having our language, our birthright. Did you know that according to the last census in 2013, of the Maori surveyed, only 22% said they could hold a basic conversation about everyday things in te reo? Shocking aye? Did you also know that Te Reo Maori only became an official language in Aotearoa in 1987? Yes, 1987! That is why today I am here to tell you why it is critically important that te reo Maori be a compulsory subject in all New Zealand schools! But how will I convince you this? Well, learning Te Reo Maori is important for our whakawhanaungatanga - our connection, learning a language has been proven to make you more intelligent and finally, it’s the only way to keep our language alive! So firstly, Te Reo Maori enables our connection to our past, our whakapapa and each other. It enables a connection to our Tikanga. Many New Zealand schools teach lots of different languages like Chinese, Spanish, and Japanese but these languages originate from other countries. Te Reo Maori is indigenous to New Zealand so why don’t all schools teach this? Spreading the teaching of Te Reo will strengthen the knowledge of Tikanga so that we don’t lose our identity. Learning Te Reo Maori in schools will also help people use it every day, whether in this country or not. Secondly, I’m sure all of us would like to become smarter by learning a new language like Te Reo Maori. Nathan Mikaere Wallis, A Brain Scientist has even said ‘Learning the language of your ethnicity has been proven to help you in the long run with things like everyday problems’. E-Tangata News also said ‘The Māori language needs to be compulsory in New Zealand schools so that future generations of New Zealand children can benefit from the cognitive advantages and academic benefits of being bilingual’ See what I mean? It makes you brainy! Finally, how are we supposed to keep the language alive if we don’t use it?! It’s up to you, and me our future generations to ensure our language doesn’t become extinct. We only need to look over the ditch to our aboriginal friends and see how they went from over 800 different native dialects to now only 13. But how do we keep our te reo alive? Well, we make sure that every New Zealand child in every New Zealand school from pre-school to Year 13 has exposure to basic teaching of everyday phrases in Te Reo Maori. Things like, “Kia Ora”, “Kei te pehea koe?”, “No hea koe?” Well, I can see on your faces that I’ve hit you hard… Also, before I go, Every year in Maori Language Week we always embrace the language a lot more than we normally would through the news, radio, school work and other things around our community. How about we have Maori Language Week EVERY WEEK? Te Manu e kai I te miro, nona te ngahere. Te Manu e kai I te matauranga, nona te ao. Kia Ora. - Lincoln