With the nation celebrating Te Reo Māori o te Wiki (Māori Language Week) across the country, UCOL Te Pūkenga is gearing up for a big week of activities and events, bringing together new and fluent speakers. But for many learners this won’t be a change, with the UCOL Te Pūkenga Te Reo classes more popular than ever.
Offered across all four of their campuses, UCOL Te Pūkenga has nearly 200 students currently enrolled in Teo Reo programmes, and more than 1,700 students have taken them since they began being offered.
One of these learners is Mahalee Guieysse, who works as a Content Manager for Maverick Digital Tourism Marketing. Mahalee started learning Te Reo in late August, and has loved the interactive classes that use a mix of hands-on and oral learning.
“My Te Reo Maori for Beginners class has been incredible, each week keeps getting better and better. I never knew this type of learning existed and it's a really beautiful way to learn not only Te Reo Māori but also the important cultural aspects.”
Te Reo is actually Mahalee’s sixth language – she already speaks Tagalog (from the Philippines), English, French, Spanish, and Swedish. However, Te Reo is already her favourite, and she says it will help her better connect with her tourism industry clients – and tell their stories.
“My kids are also learning Te Reo at school, so I wanted to be able to speak it with them. I’m definitely going to continue with intermediate classes. Tahi Gotty is an incredible teacher and brings a genuine passion to each class that is just infectious.”
For Morrison Aldridge, a Studylink Officer and PSA National Delegate, Te Reo had been on the ‘would love to learn’ list for a long time. “I’ve always had so much respect for the people who use Te Reo in their everyday life, and who could introduce themselves, bless the food or open a meeting. Recently I realized there was nothing stopping me from becoming those people, so here I am.
“Te Reo is a beautiful language that is right on the door step of every New Zealander - it just seems a shame to not take advantage of the opportunity to learn it. Each week I find myself walking out of UCOL Te Pūkenga with more Te Reo then I thought I’d ever have, practicing it in the car on the way home. My favourite piece so far has been learning a mihi, which I now feel really confident saying.”