E ngā pia o te motu nei e tū ana i te pūtake o te maunga teitei o te reo Māori, e tū ana i te pikitanga kei raro o tō te maunga maru, tēnei te mihi ki a koutou. He pikinga roa tēnei, ka nui te kakawa e maringi noa ana i te ara me ngā aka huna e rapahuki nei i a tātou ngā ākonga e whai nei i tēnei mea matahīapo o te ao Māori, arā ko te reo rangatira nei.
Ahakoa ngā piki me ngā heke (me ētahi heke anō), ka whakarahihia ake te pūkei o ngā rauemi hei āwhina i a mātou, arā i te karaehe kanohi ki te kanohi; i te huitopa; i te pukapuka ā-pepa, ā-matihiko me te pukapuka oro hoki; i te paetukutuku; i te kōnae ipurangi; i te papa kupu; i te pouaka whakaata Māori, i te reo irirangi, i te aha atu, i te aha atu.
Heoi, ahakoa te nui o ēnei rauemi, ehara i te mea he mahi māmā te kite i te wāhi tika hei tīmatanga, me te mahere pai hoki hei whai. Ka mutu, he rerekē ngā raruraru o tērā ākonga, o tērā ākonga, inarā, he motuhake te nonoke o te iwi Māori, o te iwi Pākehā me ngā tauiwi anō hoki. Nō te iwi Pākehā au, nō reira, nō taua tirohanga tēnei kōrero.
I te Wānanga o Aotearoa au i tīmata ai tōku haerenga, engari, i a au e ako ana i reira i ia wiki, ka kohia hoki ētahi atu rauemi pai mō te ihu hūpē pēnei i a au, ā, ko te Māori Made Easy tētahi. I whakaputaina e Te Manahau (Ngāti Whakaue) te pukapuka nei (ā-pepa) i te tau 2015, ā, ki a au nei, ko au pea te pia tuatahi ki te hoko i taua pukapuka.
I taua wā, he āhua uaua ki a au te whai i te Māori Made Easy i te wā e ako ana au i te Wānanga. I te tīmatanga, ka hohoro haere taku mahi MME, engari nāwai nāwai ka āta haere, ka āta haere. (He āhua ōrite ki ngā taurangi o te tau hou Pākehā, nē hā, kia haere ki te whare pakari tinana i ia rā, i ia rā!). Ki te hoki whakamuri taku titiro, ka mahue te whai i ngā kupu āwhina a Te Manahau i te arataki o te Māori Made Easy e mea ana, “me kimi hoa ako”. He kōrero āwhina pai rawa atu tēnei, nā te mea ki tōku nei mōhio e kore e taea e te ākonga te ako takitahi te reo Māori.
Hei tāna pukapuka, kei te whakaae a Te Manahau: Anei ētahi atu kōrero āwhina nāna i tito mō te aroaro o te ākonga i tana tau tuatahi: “Me aronui, me manawanui, me kimi kaiako mātau, tautōhito hoki…me whai kaupapa wetewete kōrero māmā noa iho… Me mātaki i ngā kaupapa ako reo ki runga pouaka whakaata… “Me whakarongo hoki ki ngā kaupapa ako reo ki runga reo irirangi.” Ka āpitihia e au ināianei, “Me whakarongo ki tēnei pukapuka oro hōu.”
Tata ki te 30 hāora te roa o te pukapuka oro, ā, he mea wehewehe ngā kōrero kia 28 ngā wāhanga (e 30 ngā wāhanga i te pukapuka ā-pepa). I whakarongo au ki ngā hāora katoa i roto i ngā wiki e rua noa iho i a au e hīkoi ana, i a au e oma ana, i a au e haere ana ki te whare pakari tinana, i a au e hautū waka ana (me te tū i te taero waka)… Āe rā, he tere rawa taku whakarongo, engari ka nui ngā hua.
Mō te arero Pākehā, he rawe te pukapuka oro kia pai ake ai te whakahua tika o te reo — koinei tētahi o ōku tino ngoikoretanga. Engari, mōku ake, me hoko hoki e te ākonga te pukapuka ā-pepa hei hoa mōna kia mau ai te kōrero me ngā kupu tika. Hei tauira, i te whakarongo au ki te whakataukī “Okea ururoatia” (“Never say die” arā, “Fight like a shark”) i rangona “Hokia Ururoatia” (“Return like a shark?” E kāo!). Nōku te hē, ehara i a Te Manahau, engari koinei tētahi take ka “hokia ururoatia” e au ki te pukapuka ā-pepa. Pērā hoki ngā ripanga o roto, hei tauira, mō ngā tūkapi (tūpou) Māori (wh. 74 o te pukapuka ā-pepa) me ngā pūriro Māori (wh. 81) — he nui ēnei mea hei akoako.
Ko Te Manahau te kaiwhakataki o te pukapuka oro nei, ā, he mea arotau e Dave Armstrong. He waiwai tā Armstrong mahi nā te mea kāore ētahi o te kiko o te pukapuka ā-pepa e hāngai pai ana ki te kōrero ā-waha. Ahakoa tonu he rawe tā Armstrong urutaunga, e noho tonu ana ētahi mea pai ake mō te pepa i te oro. Ko te mahi whakaraupapa i ngā rerenga nanu tētahi. Nā tōku pīnati wherū pea e ngaro nei au, heoi, e whakaraupapatia tika ai aua rerenga, i mate au ki te tuhi.
Ki ōku nei whakaaro, e kore e taea e te ākonga reo Māori kore te kōrero, te mārama rānei ki te reo Māori mā tēnei pukapuka anake. He parī te pikinga mai i te wāhanga tuatahi ki te wāhanga 28, ā, ka nui ngā pātai e pupū ake nei i roto i te pīnati. Koirā pea te take ka tohua e Te Manahau kia “kimi kaiako mātau, tautōhito hoki”, otirā, ehara i te mea he māmā tēnei tohu hei whakatutuki.
Kāore au i te mōhio ki te whakamāoritanga tika o te taitara Māori Made Easy engari i maumaharatia te pito kōrero o tētahi hoa i mea mai rā: ‘he paku rūkahu taua taitara, nā te mea ehara tēnei reo i te reo māmā , ‘heoi anō, ko te Māori Made Easier pea he taitara tōtika ake. I te mutunga iho, he rauemi tino pai tēnei pukapuka oro, me ngā pukapuka katoa a Te Manahau hei whao mā te tangata ki tana kete.
Nā, he kupu whakatūpato hoki mō mātou, mō te iwi Pākehā kei raweke, kei whakatuanui rānei mātou i te taonga tuku iho nei. He nui, he hirahira hoki te kōrero i te ao Māori kua rangona e au e pā ana ki te oranga o te reo Māori me te tukanga tika ki te whakaako, ki te whakapakari i te reo. He kaupapa anō te wāhi tika o te iwi Pākehā i roto i tēnei ao. Hei tauria, mēnā he torutoru ngā kaiako, ngā tūru wātea rānei i tētahi akomanga, mā wai ngā tūru e whakakapi? Mā wai hoki te reo Māori e whakaako?
Hei whakakapi ake, me tuku mihi ki a Te Manahau i tōna ake aronui, i tāna ake mahi manawanui ki te whakatairanga i tōna reo Māori. Ko ia tētahi o ngā kanohi o te reo e mōhiotia whanuitia ana huri noa i te motu. He ringa tōhau nui ia, he whītiki o te kī, he manu tute, he manu tāiko. Nō reira, tēnā koe.
Ki ngā ākonga katoa o te reo, mā tētahi whakataukī i MME te kōrero e whakaoti: “Anei tātou nā ko te pō, anā tātou nā he rā ki tua.” (Wh. 110)
He kairīpoata, he ākonga o te reo Māori hoki a Alison McCulloch. Nō te iwi Pākehā ia, ā, kei Tauranga Moana ia e noho ana.
Greetings to all my fellow beginners standing at the foot of the mountain that is te reo Māori, and to those who have made it part way up. It’s a long climb with a lot of sweat to spill and obstacles to snag those of us seeking this treasure of the Māori world, the Māori language.
Despite all the ups and downs (and yet more downs), the pile of helpful resources keeps growing, among them, face-to-face classes, Zoom meetings, digital, paper and audio books, websites, podcasts, dictionaries, Māori TV and radio, etc. etc.
Yet despite them all, it’s not an easy job to find the right place to start or the right path to follow. And the struggles are different for every student, and certainly different for Māori and non-Māori. I’m Pākehā, so this kōrero comes from that perspective.
I started my journey with the Wānanga o Aotearoa but while I was studying there each week, I collected other resources useful to complete beginners like myself, and the book Māori Made Easy was one. It was put out by Scotty Morrison (Ngāti Whakaue) in 2015, and I could well have been the first newbie to buy it.
At that time, it was hard to follow Māori Made Easy at the same time as studying at the Wānanga. In the beginning, I whipped through the MME exercises, but it wasn’t long before that slowed down. (It’s a bit like New Year resolutions to go to the gym every day!) Looking back, I should have followed the tip Scotty offers in the introduction to Māori Made Easy, to “Find a friend to learn with you.” It’s excellent advice because, as I now know, it’s impossible to learn Māori by yourself.
Going by his book, Scotty agrees. Here’s some more of his advice for students in their first year of learning: “Focus; Be determined and tenacious; Find an experienced and renowned tutor or lecturer; … Learn grammar but in a light and easy format; … Watch and analyse Māori language learning programmes on television; … Listen and analyse Māori language programmes on the radio.” I’d now add to that, “Listen to this new audio book.”
The book is close to 30 hours long and is broken into 28 sections (there are 30 in the paper version). I listened to it all in just two weeks while I was walking, running, going to the gym, driving (and stuck in traffic)… For sure, I listened to it too quickly, but I got a lot out of it.
For the Pākehā tongue, the audio book is great for improving your pronunciation of the language — that’s one of my major weaknesses. But you should also buy the companion paper version so you can get the content right. For example, I was listening to the proverb “Okea ururoatia” (“Never say die” more literally, “Fight like a shark”) and I heard “Hokia Ururoatia” (“Return like a shark?” Nope!). It was my mistake, not Scotty’s, but that’s one reason I “returned like a shark” to the paper book. Similarly with the tables in the book, like those for pronouns (p. 74 of the paper book) and possessives (p. 81) — they’re important things to practise.
Scotty is the narrator of the book and it was adapted by Dave Armstrong. Armstrong’s work was crucial because much of the content of the paper book doesn’t translate well into the medium of speech. And even though Armstrong’s adaptation is excellent, there are still a few things that work better on paper. One is unjumbling jumbled sentences. Maybe it was because of my tired brain that I got lost, but to do these exercises right, I had to write them down.
I don’t think it’s possible for the beginner to speak or to understand Māori using this book alone. The climb from part 1 to 28 is a steep one and raises lots of questions. Maybe that’s why Scotty advises us to “Find an experienced and renowned tutor or lecturer”, but at the same time, that’s not easy advice to fulfil.
I don’t know the correct Māori translation of the book’s title Māori Made Easy, but I remember something a friend said to me: “that title is a bit misleading, Māori is not easy” — maybe Māori Made Easier would be a more accurate title. In the end, though, this audio book is an excellent resource to add to your collection, as are all Scotty’s books.
A word of caution to Pākehā learners to be careful that we don’t interfere, or commandeer this cultural treasure. I’ve heard a lot of serious discussion in the Māori world about the health of te reo, of the right way of teaching and strengthening it. And the issue of the right place for Pākehā is another subject altogether. For example, if there’s a shortage of teachers or of places in classes, who will fill those places? Who should teach te reo Māori?
In wrapping up, I must acknowledge Scotty for his own focus and determination to raise up his language. He is one of the most well-known faces of te reo, a tireless worker, a weaver of words, an inspiration and a guardian to this particular flock. Tēnā koe.
To all the students of the language, I’ll leave the final word to one of the proverbs from Māori Made Easy: “Here we are in the night, but day is on the way”. Or, “There is light at the end of the tunnel”.
Māori Made Easy Audiobook nā Scotty Morrison (Penguin Random House, $45)