We talk with Jeremy Tātere MacLeod (Ngāti Kahungunu), who has the backing of East Coast iwi to represent them on Te Mātāwai, the entity designed to administer the Māori Language Commission, Māori radio, and Māori Television. He joins urban delegate Willie Jackson and Mataatua delegate Bentham Ohia who've already been appointed. Though MacLeod hails from Kahungunu, he has the interests of the entire Eastern region at the forefront.
Working on completing his home-based Kōhanga Reo, Jeremy MacLeod has one of the 13 spots on Te Mātāwai.
“This is a big honour for me that Te Tai Rāwhiti chose me, I'm really humbled beyond words that Te Tai Rāwhiti thought of me.”
He's not even 30-years old and a busy dad of two young boys but has been passionate about growing te reo since returning home from Australia in 2004.
“I was born in another country I was brought up with no reo, not knowing Māori customs at all, so I know full well the desire to attain this. Hence, my reason to immerse our children in our language.”
With his new role, he is eager to get out there and start gathering the expectations of Te Tai Rāwhiti for their desire of the language.
“It is a big responsibility that Te Tai Rāwhiti has entrusted me with and believe in me to do the job and so I really want to make sure I deliver.”
He's learned the language under the tutorship of many language exponents, guidance that has helped bring him to where he is today.