In the second story of Ten One's series marking Te Wiki o te Reo Māori - Māori Language Week, Rose Linde, Executive Assistant to the Tasman District Commander, talks of what te reo means to a Pākehā from a small provincial town. Click here or scroll down for the English translation.
He roa te ara i takahia e te kaimahi o Ngā Pirihimana o Te Tauihu o Te Waka a Māui, e Rosemary (Rose) Linde, ki te whakatutuki i ngā whāinga nāna anō i whakarite mōna anō i ngā tau iwa tekau: kia mārama, kia kōrero hoki ia i te reo.
He Kaiāwhina Hautū ki te Tumuaki ā-Rohe o Te Tauihu o Te Waka a Māui a Rose mō ēnei tau 20 ka hipa ake nei. He Pākehā a Rose, engari nā tana rongo i te reo i te reo irirangi i a ia i te kāinga i ngā tau iwa-tekau, i te wā e tiaki ana ia i tana pēpi, ka rongo ia i te āhuareka me te ātaahua o te reo, me te whakaaro, me whai ia kia mōhio.
I ēnei rā, kua tino mārama ia ki te kōrero a tana hoa mahi, a Haihana Steve Mariu, i kī ai ia, nā tana ako i te reo i hoki mai ai tōna ngākau Māori.
"E kore au e huri hei tangata Māori, engari ehara i te mea ko te reo anake tāku i ako ai, i taku hīkoi ako i te reo.
"Kua tino mārama kē atu au ki Te Ao Māori."
Ehara i te mea he māmā i tōna tīmatanga.
Kāore i tino nui ngā mea i wātea i Whakatū i mua, hāunga te noho mō te akoranga kotahi hāora i te pō i te kuratini ā-rohe.
Ka whakauru atu ia.
I tētahi wiki nā tētahi kaumātua nō te rohe i whakahaere te akoranga - ā, ka homai e ia he whakarāpopototanga o ngā hītori o te rohe, me te kī a Rose, "nāna i kawe aku whakaaro ki wāhi kē, me te tokonga o te whakaaro kia ako haere tonu au."
Ā, kāore i tino nui ngā huarahi hei whai, nā reira ka noho ia hei ākonga whakawaho mō Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa, ka whakamahia te mahi tuhingaroa me ngā tēpa kāheti hei huarahi ako.
Heoi anō he mokemoke te ako tahitahi – kāore i kitea he tangata i te takiwā hei whakatairite i ana tuhinga ki a ia, hei whakaharatau rānei.
I tupu ake tana pēpi – Andrew - hei pēpi mōhio ki te tatau ki te reo, he mōhio hoki ki te waiata i te taha o ngā kāheti, engari ehara tēnei i te tautoko o ngā hoa ākonga i hiahia nuitia e Rose.
Ka huri te ao i te tīmatanga o ngā akomanga reo i te Kuratini, nā reira, ka hoki a Rose ki te kura ahiahi.
I taua wā kua tīmata te mahi kōtui a Te Kuratini o Whakatū ki Te Ataarangi, nā reira, i haere tahi te ako i ngā tikanga Māori me te reo.
I muri i tērā, ka whakawāteatia e Ngā Pirihamana he whāinga wāhi kia whakawhānuitia tana mōhio ki ngā tikanga me te reo, mā tētahi akoranga toru-rā-i-te-wiki, kotahi wāhanga tau te roa.
I muri i tēnei kua whakatā, ka hoki anō ki te kuratini – kua hurihia te ingoa ki te Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology (Te Whare Wānanga o Te Tauihu o Te Waka a Māui), me te whānui kē atu o te marautanga.
Mai i 2017-2019 kua hoki anō ki te kura ahiahi, kua whakawhiwhia ki ētahi atu tiwhikete, pōkairua hoki.
Kua tahuri hoki ia ki te whai i ngā akoranga tikanga mā roto i Te Wānanga o Aotearoa.
I tēnei wā kua hoki ki Te Ataarangi, nā te mea he rawe ki a ia te ako mā te kōrerorero.
I kata hoki ia, me te whakaae ki te ingoa 'ākonga mutunga-kore' hei ingoa mōna, me te mōhio, kei te ruarua ngā tau ki a ia ki te ako i ngā āhuatanga katoa o te reo.
"He tamaiti Pākehā au i taku tupunga ake i taku tāone iti (Motueka), kāore i tokomaha rawa ngāi Māori, engari he pānga anō ō mātou ki te marae o te takiwā, nā taku pāpā, he kura māhita hoki.
"He rawe ki ahau tēnei haerenga," tana kī, me te tāpiri mai, kei te hāngai katoa tēnei kaupapa whai take, mō aku mahi.
“E ū ana mātou kia pono ki te ao Māori me te Tiriti hei kaimahi Pirihimana, hei tāngata hoki nō Aotearoa, ā, he mea tino nui ki ahau tō mātou hītori ā-rohe.
"E waru ō mātou iwi i Te Tau Ihu, tae atu ki a Ngāi Tahu i Kaikōura me te Tai Poutini, he wāhi katoa ēnei nō te Rohe Pirihimana o Te Tauihu o Te Waka a Māui, nā reira, he nui ngā mea hei ako.”
He kaiako a Rose ināianei – e āwhina ana i ētahi atu kaimahi ki te whakatakoto i ā rātou pepeha, karakia hoki, e tae ana ia ki ngā pōwhiri, ā, e kawe ana hoki i ngā mahi hēkeretari mō te Poari Māori Kaitohutohu o te Tumuaki ā-Rohe.
Ka piki ake te kaha o te reo ia rā, ia rā i Te Tauihu o Te Waka a Māui.
Ko te tīmatanga o ngā mahi o ngā hui o te Kāhui Kaiārahi ki te karakia me te pepeha o tēnā mema, o tēnā mema tērā, ko te hāpainga hoki tērā o tētahi whakaūnga kāwanatanga katoa, mā roto i Te Ataarangi.
E ai ki te Tumuaki ā-Rohe ki a Mike Johnson – Tumuaki Kaiāwhina Tārewa, Tūhuratanga, Mahi Hara Nui, Hara Whakamahere hoki, i PNHQ, he tino hīkoi te hīkoi a Rose, mōna anō, mō tana mahi anō hoki, ā, hei whakahihiri i ētahi atu.
"Kua noho koia tētahi pou whirinaki ki a mātou, mō ana pūkenga, tana mōhiotanga, tana tautōhito, i te wāhi mahi, ko mātou katoa kua katokato i ngā hua," e ai ki tāna.
Nō ēnei rā tata kua whakauru atu ia ki ngā akoranga ahiahi i te taha o Rose i Te Whare Wananga o Te Tauihu, i muri i tana 'noho whakaiti' i te pōwhiri ki a ia ki tōna tūranga, me tana kī ki a ia anō i reira, ka ako ia i te reo.
He wāhi tēnei nō tētahi anganga toro-whānui ki te pono, i roto i ngā mahi whakapiri, hora ratonga hoki o te rohe pirihimana ki te iwi Māori.
Hei whakatauira a Rose i tēnei āhua.
"Ka hiko mai ngā whatu o Rose, i a ia e tāpiri ana i te wāhi ki te ahurea o te tangata whenua ki ngā mea ka haria mai e ia ki te mahi."
* Ngā iwi o Te Tauihu: Ngāti Koata; Ngāti Rārua; Te Āti Awa; Ngāti Tama; Ngāti Toa Rangatira; Ngāti Kuia; Rangitāne; Ngāti Apa
Tasman Police staffer Rosemary (Rose) Linde has been on a long journey to realise the goals she set herself in the 1990s: to understand and to speak te reo.
Executive Assistant to the Tasman District Commander for the past 20 years, Rose is Pākehā - but hearing te reo spoken on the radio when at home with a baby back in the 90s, she was struck by its lyrical nature and determined to find out more.
Now, she says, she absolutely gets what her colleague Sergeant Steve Mariu means when he says learning te reo gave him his Māori soul.
“I’ll never be Māori but my te reo journey has not just taught me the language. It has given me a huge understanding of Te Ao Māori.”
It wasn’t easy when she started. There wasn’t a lot available in Nelson back then apart from a one-hour-a-week night class at the local polytech. She enrolled. Then one week a local kaumatua took the class – he gave them an overview of local history and “that just made me want to go further,” Rose says.
Again there weren’t a lot of choices, so for the next two years she became a Massey University extramural student, combining written assignments with cassette tapes. But it was lonely learning – she couldn’t find anyone else locally to compare notes or practise with.
Her baby – Andrew – grew up learning to count in te reo, and to sing along to waiata on cassettes, but it wasn’t the peer support she craved.
That changed when the polytech restarted classes, so Rose went back to night school. By now Nelson Polytech had partnered with Te Ataarangi so she was learning about tikanga as well as te reo.
Her next break came when Police offered her the opportunity to further her knowledge of tikanga and te reo in a three-days-a-week immersion course lasting one semester.
After this she had a break, then returned to the polytech – by now renamed Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology and offering a much broader curriculum. From 2017-2019 she was back at night school, adding to her collection of certificates and diplomas. She’s also pursued tikanga courses through Te Wānanga o Aotearoa.
This year she’s back at Te Ataarangi, because the more conversational learning style suits her best.
She laughingly accepts the label of lifelong learner, and says she hasn’t got enough years left to learn everything te reo has to offer.
“As a Pākehā growing up in a small provincial town (Motueka) there weren’t many Māori, although we did have an association with the local marae through my dad who was a school teacher.
“I have absolutely loved this journey,” she says, adding that it couldn’t be more relevant.
“We have a commitment to Māori and the Treaty both as Police staff and as New Zealanders, and I am very interested in our local history. We have eight iwi in Te Tau Ihu (the top of the South Island)*, plus Ngai Tahu in Kaikoura and the West Coast which is part of Tasman Police District - so there’s lots to learn.”
Rose is also a teacher now – helping other staff with their pepeha and karakia, attending pōwhiri and fulfilling secretarial duties for the district commander’s Māori Advisory Board.
Use of te reo gets stronger every day in Tasman, she notes. Not only do District Leadership Team meetings start with a karakia and members’ pepeha, there’s a broader whole-of-government commitment through Te Ataarangi.
District Commander Superintendent Mike Johnson – currently acting Assistant Commissioner; Investigations, Serious and Organised Crime at PNHQ - says Rose’s journey of personal and professional commitment has been inspirational.
“She’s been able to bring skills, knowledge and experience into the workplace, giving us significant positive benefit,” he notes.
Most recently he joined her at NMIT night classes, having vowed to learn te reo at his ‘very humbling’ pōwhiri when he took up his Tasman role.
It’s part of the broader commitment to genuine-ness in the district’s relationship with and delivery to Māori Mike says. And Rose exemplifies that.
“Her eyes just light up as she adds that cultural component to what she brings to work.”
* The eight iwi of Te Tau Ihu are: Ngāti Koata; Ngāti Rarua; Te Ati Awa; Ngāti Tama; Ngāti Toa Rangatira; Ngāti Kuia; Rangitane; Ngāti Apa