Ngā Manu Kōrero – 54 years of PPTA support
PPTA has a long and proud association with the Ngā Whakataetae Mō Ngā Manu Kōrero speech competitions that has spanned over 50 years.
"There is a strong sense of urgency within hāpori Māori to protect our indigenous Māori language in order that it be spoken and heard and understood by the current and future generations of Aotearoa New Zealanders," PPTA Āpiha Māori Te Mākao Bowkett says.
Ngā Manu Kōrero’s resilience and continuity is due in no small part to the actions of union members who have fought for and achieved teacher entitlements and relief days to sustain the kaupapa, she said.
A kaupapa enabler
Over the years committed teachers in schools have enabled student participants who in turn have benefited from the opportunity to speak their mind, to enjoy manaaki tangata and whakawhanaungatanga and to learn from one another within a Māori culturally defined space, Te Mākao said.
"Ngā Manu Kōrero is a kaupapa enabler where its drivers are committed to the survival of Māori as a living, spoken and dynamic language. It is integral to Māori identity, pride, self-respect and integrity - it is what sustains Māori connections and identity to a Māori world."
The richest gift children can receive is the
gift of their own language.
Through it they can draw on the heritage of their people,
stand tall in the presence of their fellows and
reach out to share with people of other cultures.”
Te taonga tino rangatira hei koha ki te taimaiti,
ko tōna reo anō.
Mā tōna reo anō,
ka taea e ia te nanao atu ngā taonga a ōna mātua tīpuna,
kia taunga ai tana tū i mua i tana iwi,
kia matau ai ia ki ngā taonga a te iwi whenua o tēnei ao,
me ā rātou tikanga hoki.
A spring tide of eloquent young Māori
A spring tide of eloquent young educated Māori secondary school students descended upon Palmerston North for the national Ngā Manu Kōrero speech competitions, PPTA Te Huarahi Manawatū Horowhenua representative and member of the event’s organising committee Zeb Nicklin said.
"No fleeting consideration that Te Reo Māori was on the so called edge of extinction would flirt in anyone’s mind! Rangatahi speakers from around the shores, to the amazons of Tūhoe all spoke with distinction in English and Te Reo Rangatira on relevant, current and historical topics of concern. The vast majority of speeches being emotive from grievances of old and new alike. An affirmative cloud of activism sunk down upon the crowds for the duration – goose bumps carved like mountains on the thick aboriginal skins. To be one of many other Māori in attendance was a moment of euphoric overwhelming pride. We are tangata whenua and these are our kids," he said.
"For so long Māori have been immersed in a world foreign to their own in New Zealand mainstream society. I think it’s time now for our treaty partners and tauiwi to reciprocate this idea. Haramai, welcome! Anytime! If we want this language to not only survive but to thrive we must all play a part. The opportunity is here, now."
"Kai taku pāpā, nōhea rawa koe e warewaretia otiia, ka ora ake i te ngākau a tō iwi ngā kaiako Māori.
"Finally our kids. They are the stars in our eyes, they are our rangatira, now and for tomorrow. Our reo needs them and so do we. Without our reo we will not be Māori. Kia kaha tou mai rā i roto i tō tātau reo, kawea ki tua, kawea ki tai, kawea ki ōna koko katoa o tea o otiia, kōrerohia ake i kāinga tou!" he said.
Congratulations to all Ngā Manu Kōrero who stood to represent their whānau, hapū, iwi, kura and rohe. E kī ana te kōrero, 'mā iti, mā rahi, ka rapa te whai'.