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Kei āku iti, kei āku rahi, e ngā kauwae reo rangatira, tēnā koutou katoa.

Shaun Tahau made a slice of Otago Polytechnic history this week, successfully completing a Master of Professional Practice – entirely in te reo Māori.

It’s been a significant year for Shaun, who was appointed to an exciting new role, Tumuaki Whakawhanake/Director Māori Capability, in August.

Shaun, who will graduate in March 2022 with distinction, began the journey towards his MPP in 2018 when, as Kaiārahi for the Kaitohutohu Office, he began the development of the Rautaki Reo Māori (Otago Polytechnic’s Māori Language Strategy).

“This was an opportunity for me to develop my understanding in a strategic space, but to also share my passion and lifelong mātauranga (knowledge) pertaining to te reo Māori me ōna tikanga (the Māori language and customs),” Shaun reflects.

The development of the Rautaki Reo Māori took just over six months, consulting with many rōpū (groups) from Kōmiti Kāwanataka, Kotahi Mano Kaika and our own Executive Leadership Team (ELT), before being approved by the Kōmiti Kawanataka and ELT in December of 2018.

Shaun realised that through the research he had done during the development of the Rautaki Reo Māori, there were no examples of this mahi being done in the tertiary sector. Therefore, he saw this as an opportunity to enrol in the Master of Professional Practise (MPP), with a focus on Organisational Leadership and Change and using his experience in developing the Rautaki Reo Māori.

As he began the process of enrolling in the MPP and reflected on the significance of the Rautaki Reo Māori, Shaun decided that if he was going to focus on the strategy, then it would only make sense to do it all in te reo Māori. At that point, no one else had completed their MPP in te reo Māori.

This posed many challenges for Shaun as he navigated being a learner and needing support, but his role developing policies and processes to support Māori learners helped overcome these barriers.

“The journey has been a great learning opportunity for me, understanding what Māori learners can face if they request to submit their assessments in te reo Māori,” Shaun says.

“Te Reo Māori is an official language of Aotearoa New Zealand, and has been since 1987. As an organisation, we should support staff and learners to continue the appropriate use of te reo Māori in all domains.”

Shaun would like to acknowledge all of those that supported him during his MPP journey, including Janine Kapa and the entire KTO and TPO whānau, to Megan Potiki and Stacey Gullen-Reynolds.

Most importantly, he thanks his whānau, Gianna and Rangiaho.   

Toi te kupu, toi te mana, toi te whenua

The permanace of the language, prestige and land

Read more about:

Te Rautaki Reo Māori       

Learner Assessment in Te Reo Māori  


Published on 2 Dec 2021

Orderdate: 2 Dec 2021
Expiry: 2 Dec 2023