Creating an identity through te Reo Maori

Creating an identity through te Reo Maori

Ma toku reo e kia ai he Maori ahau? Aaron Koopu of Tokoroa is passionate about the use of te Reo Maori and the identity it creates. This passion is reflected in Aaron’s thesis research, for which he recently won the Learning Media te Pou Taki Korero Scholarship for Academic Writing in te Reo Maori.

The $10,000 scholarship will support Aaron to complete his Master thesis entitled Ma toku reo e kia ai he Maori ahau? Creating an identity through the acquisition of te Reo Maori. The scholarship also involves a short internship with He Wakakorero (Learning Media’s Maori publishing team)

This research stems from the discussion surrounding the characteristics of Maori identity. Central to this discussion is the notion that the acquisition of te Reo Maori is the ultimate criterion to be accepted and even regarded as being ‘genuinely’ Maori.

The overarching aim of this study is to investigate the influence of identity on one’s decision and determination to acquire a language as a second-language learner. The prevailing belief that identity is a pre-determining factor in the acquisition of te Reo Maori by second-language learners, but also acknowledges that there are other underpinning aspects that motivate language learners.

Aaron grew up in the “small but encouraging community of Tokoroa, where I came to appreciate the support and nurturing of our rangatahi by the wider community.” In 2005 the Raukawa Trust Board gave Aaron the opportunity to be part of a Young Leaders programme. This ignited his passion for education, te Reo Maori, kapa haka and promoting Maori culture in the community.

His future plans include returning to Tokoroa and working for the educational department of the Raukawa Trust Board. “I look forward to the day when I am able to work with rangatahi within the South Waikato in their endeavours, so that the legacy of support remains strong for future generations.”

Professor Linda Smith from the University of Waikato commented

We are delighted that Learning Media has partnered with us to provide this pioneering scholarship for graduate writing and research in te Reo Maori. The added dimension of the internship will give Aaron valuable experience in the corporate and publishing worlds, and this will be a great complement to his research endeavours.”

David Glover, Chief Executive of Learning Media, added? “Aaron is working on a topic of potentially great interest to Maoridom and New Zealand as a whole. We are delighted to support such original research. He is an intelligent and humble man, but also shows all the signs of being a future leader.”

Latest Tweets

  • DigitalMaori@mokai77 @JodiIhaka it's all on!! about 2 hours ago
  • DigitalMaoriRT @mokai77: “@JodiIhaka: Karakia done. Now let's debate this! http://t.co/c0vJi8zjjt” @DigitalMaori about 2 hours ago
  • DigitalMaoriRT @mokai77: I guess Trelise Cooper didn't get the cultural appropriation memo. 😡 about 16 hours ago
  • DigitalMaoriRT @di_f_w: Of course @trelisecooper knows appropriating the Native American headdress is offensive. This is an attempt to profit off peopl… about 16 hours ago
  • DigitalMaoriRT @di_f_w: I have long believed @trelisecooper to be the most boring, unimaginative fashion designer in NZ and cheap shots like this just … about 16 hours ago
  • DigitalMaori@Knhannah @trelisecooper we'd love 1000 words :) about 16 hours ago
  • DigitalMaoriRT @Knhannah: Anyone who fashion blogs and would like 1000 words on what is wring with @trelisecooper's cultural appropriation, I'm your wo… about 16 hours ago
  • DigitalMaoriRT @MorganGodfery: When will designers realise that appropriating Native American war bonnets isn't innovative, but an act of deep conformi… about 16 hours ago
  • DigitalMaoriRT @caniwikiwi: @trelisecooper As someone who was a 70's hipster I can say for sure we did not wear the ceremonial dress of First Nations. … about 16 hours ago
  • DigitalMaoriRT @caniwikiwi: @trelisecooper Women never wear the ceremonial headdress of First Nations chiefs. Would you dress near naked girls in a ko… about 16 hours ago
  • DigitalMaoriRT @RPamatatau: Pondering what the (fashion) press might write about Dame @trelisecooper and her cultural looting #NZFW14 #mercedes about 16 hours ago
  • DigitalMaoriRT @mokai77: @caniwikiwi @RPamatatau @trelisecooper or pin fake bic cross medals on? War bonnets are only worn by returned warriors. about 16 hours ago
  • DigitalMaoriRT @puawai_: Reading comments on Trelise Cooper's facey about the 'bohemian vibe' war bonnet. This is why I hate nostalgia. White people pi… about 16 hours ago
  • DigitalMaoriRT @Eliota_Sapolu: Thats utter crap @trelisecooper Cultural theft at its finest! about 16 hours ago
  • DigitalMaoriRT @spat106: Trelise Cooper alters pic of her model wearing a Native American headdress as her intention is not to be racist. http://t.co/K… about 16 hours ago
  • DigitalMaoriRT @mokai77: It's really not a fashion thing @trelisecooper Unless denim cutoffs, lacy singlets and festival sunburn suddenly became fashi… about 16 hours ago
  • DigitalMaoriRT @TaikaWaititi: The 70s, when cultural insensitivity and racism was super awesome innocent fun. Nice throw back @trelisecooper! RT: http:… about 16 hours ago
  • DigitalMaoriRT @VisionQuestProj: @vnclark @DigitalMaori #NgaWhetu IQ only shows potential. Gifted is as Gifted does. We have a responsibility use IQ 4 … about a day ago
  • DigitalMaoriRT @ArmyFortLee: Active shooter incident reported at CASCOM HQ, Bldg. 5020. All personnel enact active shooter protocols immediately. Post… about a day ago
  • DigitalMaori@vnclark Kia ora Vanessa. Great to meet you tonight. Will korero more soon on those choice ideas. To the Stars and Beyond!! about a day ago