Megan Potiki, Te Tumu: School of Māori, Pacific and Indigenous Studies, shares her language journey.
When I was born my pākehā grandmother gave me a Māori name because she thought I should have one – she was a pretty neat Nana with an open mind. I think I grew up with a silver spoon in my mouth, on my family farm, on my marae, with whānau and memorable elders. I went to a lovely school with my cousins and was involved in whānau hui, tangihanga and Ngāi Tahu claim events. My Dad would often pack us into the car and take us to visit the rellies. I assumed everyone grew up as I did. It wasn’t until my later teen years that I realised that no one spoke Māori in my village. This realisation and other serendipitous events led me on a journey to learn te reo Māori.
5.30pm, Monday 11 September
Image credit: Mere pounamu. Gift of Gwyneth M Hislop Estate; Otago Museum Collection