Te Pōkaitahi Reo Graduate

I came from Germany three-and-a-half years ago for doctoral study at Auckland University. I wanted to learn about the language and culture – for me, that’s what you do when you go to a different country. You can get away with speaking just English, but I wanted to engage with Māori and understand and honour the culture.

I was lucky to get the opportunity to study with Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi at Papatūānuku Kōkiri Marae in Māngere for two years. It was the best thing that could have happened, a game-changer. I had a great teacher. Te Reo is my fourth language so I’ve had a lot of teachers in my time: she is one of the best. Learning at the marae was very special – it got me into Te Ao Māori quickly. We would jump in to help with pōwhiri, applying our learning straight away.

I don’t know where I would be without this te reo journey. It was an incredible experience that has changed my life. I met a lot of my best friends in my te reo class, got involved in maara, kapa haka and raranga, and I have been with Papatūānuku Kōkiri Marae for almost three years. It is a second home for me.

Denise has completed Te Pōkaitahi Reo Levels 2, 3 and 4.

Denise enjoys raranga - traditional flax weaving

Denise enjoys raranga - traditional flax weaving

Kimihia he huarahi ako

What can you study?