Education - Māori Language

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Tono kōrero mai

Two interviews by broadcaster Wiremu Parker.

First, Wiremu Parker interviews Dr. Nahi Paewai who was born in Danniverke then moved with his parents and family to live in Logan, Utah.

He speaks about his background and upbringing in the United States, and his return back to New Zealand. He talks about not being able to speak Māori even though both his parents spoke Māori fluently. He also says that he is pleased that Māori is included within the education system thus enabling his children to be given the chance to speak and understand the language.

7:00 The second interview is with Hoani (John) Waititi who was born in Whangaparaoa (Cape Runaway).

His tribe is Te Whanau-a-Kauaetangohia a sub tribe of Te Whanau-a-Apanui. At the time of this interview Hoani Waititi is the assistant officer for Māori Education.

Hoani Waititi was instrumental in setting up modern day Māori text books for students. He explains at a 1958 conference in Rotorua it was decided modern text books on teaching the Māori language were needed, as books written by the missionaries were still the only ones available.

He explains with his method, Māori is the language of instruction, so all learning is done in te reo. He says if Māori is to survive as a language, it must be functional and must keep up with the times, which is why he is happy for some transliterated words from English to be used in te reo Māori.

He says in his first two "Te Rangatahi" text books he has used the most commonly used Māori words, rather than the formal language, which he introduces in the third book, which is due to be published soon, along with a teacher's manual.

He says in travelling around the country visiting teachers and te reo classes he has found many are focussing on the written rather than oral aspects of the language - but both must go hand in hand.

He hopes tape recordings will be brought out to help with this, but there is still great demand for more Māori language teachers.

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Year 1964

Reference number 43322

Media type AUDIO

Collection Sound Collection

Credits RNZ Collection
Parker, Wiremu Leonard, 1914-1986, Interviewer
Waititi, Hoani R. (Hoani Retimana), 1926-1965, Interviewee
Paewai, Nahi, Interviewee

Duration 00:21:40

Date 02 Dec 1964

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