News from home / National Nati news / Reo and Culture
31 Jul 2015

Toitu Ngati Porou, the cultural development arm of Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou commits $500,000 to front-load investment in Ngati Porou language acquisition, promotion and inter-generational transmission.

Te Runanganui o Ngāti Porou Chairman, Selwyn Parata said, “If Ngāti Porou believes that our language is a taonga, which I believe they do, then we need to front-up and take responsibility for the care, use and retention of our reo”.

“Given the decline in fluency and the numbers of Ngāti Porou speaking to tatau reo (our language) we need to move immediately, we cannot afford to wait another year. And we certainly should not be expecting or waiting for the Government, the Taura Whiri or anyone else to lead the way”.

“That is not to say that they don’t have a role, they do, but it is one of support and co-investment not control and ownership,” he said.

The Runanganui recently endorsed a Ngāti Porou Reo Strategy, commissioned by Toitu Ngāti Porou, its cultural development arm.

“We had a number of reo strategies developed over the years and despite good intentions they all ended up gathering dust,” said Mr Parata. “This time we thought ‘ka whai huruhuru te manu ka rere’ – ‘the bird needs feathers if it is going to fly’, in other words we need to resource the strategy.”

The Runanganui sought a special dividend from their commercial development arm, Ngati Porou Holding Company, and this will be provided to Toitu Ngāti Porou to implement the strategy.

“The Ngāti Porou Reo Strategy is a blue-print for our whānau, hapū and iwi to reclaim our reo, to increase the numbers of Ngāti Porou whānau speaking their reo and promote and encourage intergenerational transmission in the home,” said Amohaere Houkamau, Toitu Ngāti Porou Chairperson.

“It provides for the establishment and maintenance of multi-platforms to enable and support reo speakers at various points in their reclamation journey,  including the development of ‘apps’, total immersion wānanga, recruitment of Pakeke, young parents and Rangatahi reo champions and supporting the many reo initiatives that are already happening at home.”

“We presented the reo strategy to sixty Ngāti Porou reo enthusiasts at the Porou Ariki Reo Wānanga, held at Rāhui Marae in Tikitiki last weekend”, said Ms Houkamau, “to check out their response  which was overwhelmingly enthusiastic,  although people said it’s easy to write a strategy it’s another thing to action it”. 

The Porou Ariki Reo Wānanga, are quarterly total immersion forums, jointly organised by the Runanganui, Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o te Waiu o Ngāti Porou, Te Kura Kaupapa o Kawakawa mai Tawhiti and local marae and hapū.

“The Porou Ariki Reo Wānanga are a good example of what Ngāti Porou is currently doing to promote the use of their reo,” said Ms Houkamau. “The wānanga are open to all Ngāti Porou members, with equal numbers of Nati’s living at home and Nati’s living away from home attending. We have Ngāti Porou teachers coming to the reo Wānanga as part of their professional development, University and secondary school students coming to strengthen their reo and extend their vocabulary and fluent speakers coming to share their knowledge.”

“The Porou Ariki Wānanga are also a good example of the old adage, ‘Na tou rourou me taku rourou, ka ora ai te iwi’, in other words they are self-sufficient”, said Selwyn Parata, “which is important in terms of sustainability. Everyone attending pay’s an Apirana Ngata – a $50 note, our farms supply the meat, our fisheries company supplies the Kaimoana (seafood) and the Iwi Kāinga, the home people provide the ‘Kai o te Rangatira’-  the food of chiefs, the kōrero. The local marae and hapū sets the programme organises the speakers and the reo revitalisation activities.”

The next step in the Ngāti Porou Reo Strategy will be a Ngāti Porou Hui a Iwi on the strategy to seek feedback and endorsement from the iwi prior to finalising the implementation plan and budget.

Media contact:
Selwyn Parata, Chairman of Te Rūnanganui o Ngāti Porou
Tel: 06 867 9960

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i am living in far north am from wipiro bay, whangara am keen to learn te reo particular to my iwi will be keen to connect to wanaangafor both myself and my son

Kia ora Ron, there are some more Nati Reo wananga happening this year- the next Porou Ariki hui will be held at Hiruharama in September and the Ta Apirana Ngata lectures will be happening also in September. Please copy and paste the link below to find out more details.

Kia ora, I am interested in whakaako te reo from level 1, i do know a little, will i be able to attend these wananga to learn or would i be better looking somewhere else? I have tried looking elsewhere to n avail!
If you can help awsum otherwise ka pai koutou ki te tautoko a taua reo!

Kia ora Stewart, please contact Rapaea Parata, she is the contact for the Porou Ariki wananga and have a korero with her. Her contacts are Mena he patai wahau tukua mai ki a Rapaea Parata Ph: 06 867 9960 • Cell: 021 863 114. Also please copy and paste the link below to find out more about the rest of the Porou Ariki Wananga lined up for 2015.

Tēnā tātou me ngā tini āhuatanga katoa i runga anō i te aroha o te Atua.

Tino pai tēnei whakaaro ki ā ua, kia mau tonu tātou ki te reo o te wā kāinga rā ahakoa kai hea tātou e noho ana, kai wāhi kē atu, kai te wā kāinga tonu, ko tātou tonu ko Ngāti Porou, nā reira kia mau tonu ki tō tātou ake mita, ki tō tātou ake reo.

Kia ora Hurae mo to whakaaro.

Wow $500.000.00 for language would the money not be better spent elsewhere?
Helping Ngati Porou house their families,feeding families helping them get jobs etc.
I was about to Vote but don't think I will now if this is where money is being spent.
Not saying the Language isn't important but thats a lot of money to spend on it when it would be more beneficial elsewhere well that's my opinion anyway.
My great grandfather is Sir Apirana Ngata and my whanau are Crawford,McCracken,Tuhou,Dewes so it's not an unbiased opinion or judgement my whanau and I are Ngati Porou

It does seem like a lot of money that could be spent elsewhere but part of our wellbeing as Māori is having a healthy wairua. We know that being disconnected from our culture, including or reo has made us spiritually unwell and created dependency. People like Mason Durie have conducted some interesting studies on Māori wellbeing and have shown that being connected to our reo connects us better to our culture and actually creates a better sense of wellbeing that leads to better lives. So long term its far better to support people to grow a healthy mind and wairua which leads to a positive outlook. This way people are supported to proactively create their own "wealth" whatever that may mean for them.
Of course the other important issue is that in order for the language to survive it must be spoken at a number of levels, including in the home, media, government agencies, schools etc etc. Once intergenerational transfer ceases it is very difficult to reclaim the language and only a very small number of countries have ever been able to bring their language back form that point, but with millions of dollars of investment i.e Saami and Basque languages, and they had totally supportive governments. So I agree with the Runanga we need to act now. This is an exciting and important initiative.

Kia ora koutou e whakahaere nei i tēnei rautaki reo mo tātou.

Kia ora Marnie,

The $500k being spent on our language revitilisation is important as it defines who we are. The challenge is the accessibility for those Naati's that wish to commence/continue their journey in te reo ake o Ngati Porou, no matter how proficient they may be. This is not the only initiative happening. There is a papakainga scheme at Hiruharama, Naati Insure, Naati Power, and our 2 degrees relationship with Ngati Porou. On the commercial side we have Ngati Porou Seafoods, Pakihiroa Farms Limited, Ngati Porou Forests Limited and looking at the establishment of Ngati Porou Miere (honey) Partnership. So money is being spent in other areas. You may not exercise your right to vote but at least be informed about what is happening at home

Please keep me updated.

Nga mihi

Kia ora Maureen, further panui about the Reo Strategy and putea will be posted here at in the coming weeks.

Congratulations on taking the first step of many, everyday needs keep you going but if we forget to feed our inner wairua we will have nothing to leave for the generations to come.
I look forward to the many steps and hope someday that I will be able to join and help retain the knowledge for generations to come.

Kia Ora ra Pāpā Selwyn,

Ānei te mokopuna o Rehia Wharehinga e kī atu ra ki a koe! Me piritahi ngātahi kia tata rawa atu ngā hāpū katoa mai Pötikirua, ki Kokoronui mai i reira tae noa rawa atu ki te Toka Taiao ki raro i te whānau kötahi, roa rawa atu ngā uri o Porourangi kua noho wehewehe! Ehara mā mātau tēnei kaupapa nui ake Te Reo i a mātau anö ngā pepi, mokopuna katoa!!!

There will always be poverty in Aotearoa as long as there is affluence, but the language unique to Ngati Porou with it's embedded tikanga if not nourished will eventually dissipate taking with it the cries, joys, waiata and finally wairua that connects us to our whenua our mokopuna. The steps we take now will prevent the future generations staring treatyless into a muddy pond of silence.

any progress is indeed that. My partner and I are currently in night classes learning the reo, its so much more than a language its truly a taonga, a missing piece of who we are and where we are going as a whanau. Each time we come home and practice w h at we have learnt the kids have it sussed before we do lol but it is a waka we will forever paddle as learning from scratch is hard but bit by bit its sinking in. This is a awesome thing for our reo, embrace the koha.

Ki te kore e taea te haere ki nga wananga ki waho o Turanga me aha? Na te ahua o waku mahi kare e taea, kare e kore e penei ana mo te nuinga o te "Nati" e noho ana ki te taone nei. Tokomaha matau kai Turanga

He mihi nunui Ki a koe e te Rangatira,
I fully support any reo learning especially for our whanau and friends from Ngati Porou. My parents are Arapeta Karikapa Hazel Takoko and Jossie Te Oho Mauri Karajkia Brown. Our Reo taonga was taken away when I came onto the scene (last of twelve children) I was not encouraged to learn the reo. My older brothers and sisters were caned or strapped for speaking te reo, who have te reo but do not use it very much unless they are together but it is very few and far between. Others in my whanau went to Uni to learn Te Reo, I know a little bit but would love to be fluent. I think that there is any amount of money that can be spent on our beautiful language, once it is gone it is gone and then our taonga will be lost forever. This can only be the beginning. I would love to see the wa anga not only around Ngati Porou but also in Kirikiriroa, Tamaki Makaurau rau, a lot of our whanau don't live at home but know where our home fires are

Maraehara road, Rangitukia, Tikitiki. I would love the opportunity to learn my reo, from my people (Naati reo) now living in Tamaki Makaurau, Manurewa.

Kia ora Lucy, please contact the Ngati Porou Ki Tamaki Taurahere group. There is a Reo course (run by Natis) that they are associated with. The course is delivered at Te Wananga o Aotearoa Campus in Manukau.
Below are the Taurahere's contacts:
Tel : 09 486 0206 Email :

Taputapu kē whānau. Tēnā whakamōhio mai hei āhea ka tū ngā wānanga reo kia ahei te hoki mai ki te wānanga i te reo ake o Ngāti Porou.

Kua roa nei te waa e maimoatia ana e te ngaakau he kookiritanga whakamua moo te iwi nei me te aahuatanga ki te "reo". Taihoa kia puawai!

wow look forward to seeing this whakaaro up and go!!! As a maori woman in my mid fifties I have been wanting to and attempting to learn te reo since third form at high school and even now want to be able to speak BEFORE I pass. Since the treaty negotiations began I have often wondered why Maori never thought to do initiatives such as this and others i.e housing, health, etc. with the putea they are given instead of putting it into other ventures!!! Pai mahi te waimarie pai!

How do I hear about when and where these Wananga are being held?

Kia ora Ange, please copy and paste the link below to find out more as well as contact details.

Kia Mau,kia u,tatou katoa ki tenei kaupapa, te reo o Ngati Porou. Kei kona maua mo Te Wananga o te koanga.Ka haere mai te tangata ki to maua kaenga, me korero to tatou reo anake. Tihei! Mauri Ora!

More information whanau, how I can join..

Ngaa mihi. I would love to take part oin learning te reo o Ngaati Porou

Kia ora tatau NgatiPorou,
otira koutou nga Ngati kei te whenua, nga mea o tatau kei te wa kainga mo te whakaputa i o koutou whakaaro mo tenei kaupapa titi rawa i te whatumanawa o tena o tena o tatau.
Kei te rongo au i nga whakaaro e puta nei ,me taku korero ka taea e tatau etahi ahuatanga hei awhina hei tautoko i te koingo kei roto i a koutou mo te reo o o tatau matua tipuna ,te reo o NgatiPorou.
Anei tetahi korero mai i tetahi o nga tu Pakeke o NgatiPorou i a Hapukuniha Karaka no roto o Waiapu "puritia ki a mau ko to reo kei pahuhu ka tawaitia"
Na Tuini Ngawai,te tipua tito waiata, enei korero
"kia pakari ki a mau i nga tikanga Maori e ,hei awhina i te reo kua tapepetia nei ,ki a kaha ra e awhitia ki a mau"
Na Tuini Ngawai ano enei korero i roto i tetahi o ana waiata
"whakairotia te a e i o u ki roto i te manawa e"

Anei te mahi ma tatau e hika ma whitiki! whakarongo! Korero!
Nga mea o tatau kei te mohio ki te korero i te reo o NgatiPorou ,te reo Maori ranei me korero i nga wa katoa i o tatau kainga, i nga wahi katoa.
Nga mea o tatau kei te ako tonu rapaina tetahi ahuatanga kia tutuki o wawata tumanako hoki me to tatau reo Ngati.
Kei te whakakao i nga tumomo kaupapa hei takapau mo to tatau reo, me kore e warowaro ano te reo i roto i o tatau kainga, i nga topito katoa o to tatau rohe mai i Potikirua ki te Toka Taiau, atua atu i o tatau kainga noho ahakoa kei tehea tarawahi o te motu o te ao.
Kia tau te ia o te mauri kia tatau katoa.
NgatiPorou kia mau Kia NgatiPorou.

Thank you

I wish as a young person that I had the oppurtunity to learn Te Reo because I get annoyed today not being able to speak the tongue of my ancestors. This is an important step in retaining the Ngati Porou language and passing that knowledge on to others before it is forgotten.
I myself would love to learn but living away from NZ makes that task almost impossible so I hope this incentive is embraced by all eager to learn.

Ko te reo he hua o tona ao,

The language is a fruit of the environment in which it grows.

The stats show that the majority of our people are living in impoverished conditions, many without the basic necessities of life. Such conditions do not provide the adequate environment for our language to grow and flourish. Now I am not belittling a reo revitalisation strategy, not in the least, what I am arguing is that we must adopt a different approach to language revitalisation and shift focus from developing and building a language, and concentrate upon developing and building a ‘people’ to speak a language, these are two vitally different agendas. For I believe that only when our people are healthy, physically, mentally and spiritually will our language once again flourish.

Kia ora tatau Ngati Porou

Atta, kei whea mai ki te korero nana, "Everyone attending pay’s an Apirana Ngata ... " Hātakēhi te Nāti! Me te mea anō hoki, rā kē te iti o tēnā utu. Kei te mihi ake ki a Selwyn mā, koutou kei te kawe i tēnei kaupapa nui whakaharahara, kaleg.