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Dee-Jay O'Halloran

Te Wānanga o Aotearoa has been able to support an organisation with professional development, offreing te reo Māori classes to a group of their Wellington based kaimahi.

Last year, Te Wānanga o Aotearoa worked with the group to complete the level 1 and 2 He Pī Ka Pao corporate programme, and this year 15 of those kaimahi have continued on, studying the level 3 and 4 He Pī Ka Rere corporate programme.

One of those kaimahi who has chosen to further her reo journey is Senior Advisor Māori Procurement, Dee-Jay.

“It’s been really beneficial having a group at work because we all lean on each other and support each other. We are all on that same journey and it makes a huge difference,” says Dee-Jay.

Learning with those she works with also means she has people to practice with during her work day.

To make sure they understand what they have learnt that week, the group will often organise game nights and practices where they only converse in te reo Māori.

Learning te reo Māori has had many benefits for Dee-Jay, including growing in her role at work, and positively impacting her whānau.

“It’s always been a goal of mine to learn the language and pass it on to my daughter. It’s very much about reclaiming the language,” says Dee-Jay.

Dee Jay admits that the learning commitments can seem overwhelming at the start, but with flexible night classes and the ability to include your whānau on your journey, the time barriers don’t seem to be too much of an issue.

The support that Dee-Jay has received from her kaiako, kaiawhina, and manager at workhas made all the difference to her success so far with learning te reo Māori and she encourages those who are

learning or about to start to persevere.

“Practice, practice, practice. If you don’t use it, you lose it. Even if you’re having a conversation with your tamariki, pets or yoursefl, just get it out. Karawhiua!”

Learn more about our Reo Māori programmes 

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Published On: 3 October 2023

Article By: Candice Pomare

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