BOP Police take te reo Māori journey
Eastern Bay of Plenty police have begun their te reo Māori journey through Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi this week.
More than 30 local members are partaking in the tailored course which will give participants a greater understanding of te reo Māori that they can use in their work with whānau, hapū and iwi communities.
Awanuiārangi Programme Co-ordinator Teaching and Learning, Georgina Kerekere says they want participants to go out into the workplace and into their communities feeling comfortable to engage in te reo and te Ao Māori.
“Our programmes provide a pathway for participants to develop the skills and knowledge that will protect, maintain and enrich mātauranga taonga tuku iho for current and future generations – from beginners, through to intermediate and more advanced levels,” says Georgina.
Inspector Stu Nightingale, Police Area Commander for the Eastern Bay of Plenty, was one of the first to sign up to the 18-month programme, which will see he and his colleagues follow a tailored weekly programme.
“This course is instrumental in helping our people to understand te ao Māori and how our police values align,” says Inspector Nightingale.
The principles of whanaungatanga (connection), manaakitanga (respect) and kotahitanga (unity), are the drivers behind learning te reo Māori for Inspector Nightingale and his team.
“We are committed to improving relationships with Māori across the Eastern Bay of Plenty, so it’s critical that we make the effort to learn a language that many members of our local community speak,” he says.
“Being able to pronounce names and places properly, for example, shows respect in how we interact with our communities.”
Eastern Bay of Plenty Police Pouwhakataki (Iwi Liaison Co-ordinator), Joshua Kalan, says it is great to partner with a local education provider for the classes.
“We have a high number of iwi and native speakers of Te Reo Māori, here in Mataatua, so it makes sense for our staff to learn Te Reo Māori – being able to start this journey together to learn te reo Māori is something really special,” he says.
Te Whare Wānanga Awanuiārangi introduced the programme 18 months ago, and since then has hosted more than 30 tailored Te Pōkaitahi Reo courses for participants in the corporate, health, education and community sectors.
Awanuiārangi National Programme Co-ordinator for Te Reo Māori, Kelly Henare, says it’s been fantastic to see the uptake of the programme.
“We encourage any organisation wanting to build te reo Māori capabilities of their staff to consider this as a professional development opportunity that allows participants to immerse themselves in the language, no matter what level they are at,” explains Ms Henare.
Georgina says the course offers a blend of flexible kanohi ki te kanohi (face-to-face) delivery and online support resources.
“Our kaiako (teachers) are also specifically appointed from the different regions to ensure the appropriate dialects are delivered,” she says.
“It’s all about learning the different contexts of the language as an expression of mana tangata, mana whenua and mana ao turoa, and developing this emerging respect for te reo Māori as an expression of mana reo.”