4. Tanya’s Journey in Te Reo me ōna tikanga

As a 75 year old Pākehā woman I feel privileged to be able to continue my journey of learning Te Reo me ōna tikanga. I have appreciated many different opportunities to learn te reo over the last 50 years, but the last 2 years have been different.
I have had the good fortune to participate in a weekly class, Te Rōpū Reo, facilitated by Kereama Graham Oliver, a humble, gentle, kind, resourceful Pākehā man (who has the blessings of his mentors to teach Te Reo).

Kereama uses a facilitative teaching style which is organic, informal and focused on students needs and questions. Our group includes students at all stages of the learning process , so the tuākana/tēina principle is integral to our learning. Most of the group are involved in jobs in which they are helping to reshape organisations to reflect both Māori and Pākehā world views.
The discussions, in both te Reo and English, are therefore challenging and topical , and often accompanied by laughter, tears,surprise, enlightenment and affirmation and also a sense of hope for the future in Aotearoa.
The sessions finish with more kōrero and supper.

 Kereama then completes the process by sending us a summary of the main learnings from our discussions plus links for further study – these have become a precious resource.

Learning Te Reo me ōna tikanga enlivens me, deepens my spiritual links to this whenua, and makes me determined to keep on supporting Tino Rangatiratanga in Aotearoa.

I hope that many will take the opportunity to board the waka reo in whatever way is possible, and become one of the 1 million people who will be able to speak Te Reo by 2040. There are many different courses available these days, at all levels, on different media, and mainly cost-free.

A good starting point for beginners would be the brand-new free interactive learning tool Kōrerorero, developed by Te Ara Poutama, the Faculty of Maori and Indigenous Studies, and altLAB, at AUT .This uses listening, repetition and learning vocab and phrases that can easily be used in real life situations:


Ngā mihi nui ki a koe, Kereama, mōu i tautoko i a tātou i te ara reo rangatira me ona tikanga.

Nāku iti nei,


  1. Bravo, Tanya! Wishing you a lifetime of Te Reo bounties……….Jeanne

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