Topic: Māori Language Week

Non-māori learning the language inspires others

By Aroha Treacher
  • North Island: East Coast

Teresa Redington is a teacher at Greenmeadows Kindergarten, at place where hearing Te Reo Māori used in every day teaching is now, just a part of the norm. 

"I am very passionate about learning the Māori language but I still have a way to go  yet," she says.

She uses Te Reo Māori in her everyday life and in her workplace where she speaks to the children and among the other teachers as much as possible. The amount of Te Reo spoken at the kindergarten has grown significantly over the past few years.

She has been regularly attending Māori language classes which have helped her gain valuable understanding of Māori protocol and customs.

"I think te reo Māori is a beautiful language and it deserves a lot of respect and it has enriched my life and I want to learn more and more and I aspire to be bilingual one day."

Redington herself was adopted out as a baby and learning about her pepeha and her geneology has strengthened her own self-identity, something she wants for her grandchildren.

"I have two mokopuna with Māori heritage so it's become important to me to expose them to the langauge and culture so that they grow up to feel comfortable with who they are and where they come from."

When she qualified as an early childhood teacher 10 years ago, she felt a responsibility to learn and teach it, and that's when she began learning. She now uses her new found skills in rāranga, karanga and Te Reo at the kindergarten where she works.

Her family has since been inspired and have now joined her on her discovery of the Māori language.