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Student Profiles

Tracy Black
Tūhoe, Whakatōhea, Ngāti Kahungunu

Te Awa Tūāpapa

Background Summary:

I  had been thinking about the course, and when my son moved home we decided to do it together. This programme empowered me. It’s a confidence thing – I could understand more te reo Māori than I could speak. When I stood  I would get tongue-tied, whereas I had no problem in te reo pākehā. I think it was partly fear of getting it wrong. In Te Awa Tūāpapa, you’re put on the spot but it’s safe because everyone is in the same boat, and we’re all there for the same reason. Awanuiārangi is very whānau focused, you have support around you that feels like whānau.

We noticed that our reo began to fly. We were engaging in te reo Māori, we were having fun with each other and using our reo much more. Through the practise in class, ia rā ia rā, it became normal to stand up, despite the nerves. We learnt a lot of waiata koroua, karakia, how to deliver whakapapa, pepeha, mihimihi, karanga. I have now put these things into practice at huihui. I feel more comfortable about interacting with people when they speak Māori to me, and it’s given me more of a sense of belonging. I know I’m Māori but having that foundation of te reo behind you makes you feel at peace within our community.

(Tracey is preparing to enrol in the Bridging to Nursing – Ako ki te Wānanga programme in 2016, with the intention of studying toward a Bachelor of Health Sciences Māori (Nursing) starting in 2017.)