“I’ve always loved the fact that I am Maori. It’s a real treasure to be able to communicate in Te Reo because I didn’t have the advantage of it being my first language. I started learning it in high school which helped me to unlock a better understanding to all things Maori.
When my younger siblings were born my parents realised the importance of passing on their indigenous language. Getting behind my parents vision and being able to communicate with my siblings in Maori was very special to me.
The language itself is elegant. There is a spiritual element to Te Reo Maori where there are things that you can’t adequately express in English, like what you’re feeling, acknowledging your surroundings or what you’re trying to express from your heart. ‘Toku reo, toku oho’ My language is my strength.”