Taranaki has keepers of our language to pass it on

TAMZYN PUE
Last updated 05:00 22/07/2014
Tamzyn Pue
Fairfax NZ
TAMZYN PUE: "Te Reo Maori must be naturalised."

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OPINION: Te Reo Maori must be naturalised to remain a living and spoken language and naturalisation occurs when the language is being used in everyday contexts and situations.

I think Maori language use in existing and new domains, including the public and private sectors, will also ensure its survival.

In terms of feeding the language to our people and to the community at large, I support the notion of the multi-faceted approach driven by Te Reo o Taranaki. Within this approach, there is strong emphasis on inter-generational transmission of the language within the home, whanau and community.

We are very fortunate here in Taranaki that we have keepers of our language and the expertise to continue to pass it down to the next generations.

For a variety of reasons, there are many families in my own community who have stopped using te reo on a daily basis. The concern in this instance is that the language may become dormant or extinct, existing perhaps only in recordings or written records and transcriptions.

There are numerous economic, political and social factors that affect a community's self perception and motivations towards using te reo but it is our role as parents and whanau which can help lead the way.

As we are influenced by our environment, we often learn by "doing". The language will survive if it's being used in everyday situations such as in supermarkets, in town, around our communities and within our homes.

When we are together, I speak reo to my son as often as possible. It is our way of communicating our thoughts and feelings and it's intimate and personal to us.

I feed my son the language that was fed to me.

And the beautiful part is that we both have so much more of our reo to learn.

Familiar to some as a broadcaster at New Plymouth iwi radio station Te Korimako o Taranaki, Tamzyn Pue has also had a long association with Waitara's Nga Pekanga Kohanga Reo.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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