Ehara i te tī! You only live once!

Ehara i te tī! Draws from a whakatauki about Tī kouka-Cabbage trees which almost always grow again when cut back. We, unlike the mighty Tī, we only get the one life.

Heoi anō-However we do feel some whakawhānaungatanga with our beloved cabbage tree in our journey with Te Reo Māori. Kirsten and I are life long learners of Te Reo Māori and we are, to date, eternal beginners! We have been "cut back" on our missions with te reo, through long periods absence, busy (disruptive) life events and times when our emphasis was just elsewhere. But we always returned to the security of our culture, we feel reassured- not by our fluency and prowess with Te Reo but by our own dogged commitment to learning a beautiful language.

This year for Te wiki o Te Reo Māori Kirsten and I got together to celebrate. We took our waiata and pūrakau stories to the Selwyn District where the libraries had invited us especially to share with their communities. We are always VERY nervous about appearances like this! What if really amazing Reo Māori experts are there critiquing us?! What if we stumble? Mix up our ō's and our tō's?! But we practice, and research and practice some more. We rely on our humour, our (iffy at best) singing voices and pretty illustrations to help us charm the crowds! And you know what? It is a beautiful thing, an honour to get out there and share some Te Reo Māori and to have the efforts and earnest attempts of others shared with us.

Like the Tī kouka that has been cut back we really started to thrive with Te Reo Māori when some new shoots appeared! Our tamariki are the impetus and the constant reminder to us to keep learning, keep trying and keep using Te Reo Māori in our lives.

Te Reo Māori should be normalised in every single day but we think Te wiki ō Te Reo Māori is the pīwari-perfect time to take stock and renew commitments. This year we were blown away by the out pour of aroha for Te Reo on so many fronts. It seemed that everyone had been saving up their best ideas and mahi for te wiki. The media was awash with initiatives to whakamana te reo, new business idea's were launched, books were released, exhibitions were hosted, performances were enjoyed, hui were attended, noho were enjoyed! We felt the potential, we recognised the uplift. A momentum is certainly building. Even when cut back the Tī kouka grows and it's growing whānau-its growing! Whakatipua Raki!