September 02, 2022
Te reo Māori rongoā for wellness journey
Māori language week is coming up, but some speakers have got into the swing early by taking the Mahuru Māori challenge.
That means they’re trying to see if they can just speak te reo Māori for the whole month.
Bernie O’Donnell, the co-chair of Māori language revival body Te Matawai, says it’s a glimpse into the future.
But he says for those not up to the wero just yet, that’s okay – language revival is a multi-generational journey, and many Maori first have to get over the trauma of having their language denied or taken from them.
“So language trauma is real. That’s the deficit side. The positive side is language is a rongoa. We have to start to understand what wellbeing in a Maori space looks like. Having to reclaim that stuff that was taken from you is a wellbeing journey and the language is the thing that can heal us,” Mr O’Donnell says.