He pūkenga matua a Dr Awanui Te Huia (Ngāti Maniapoto) nō Te Kawa a Māui ki Te Herenga Waka, Te Whare Wānanga o Wikitōria. I whakawhiwhi ki a ia tētahi tohu whakaako mana nui. Mā ōna pūkenga whakaako, i roto i te ao o te mātauranga Māori me te reo Māori, ka arahi i ngā tauira Māori, Pākehā hoki, i roto te ngā take e pēhi ana i te ahurea Māori, i ngā hapori anō hoki.
Dr Awanui Te Huia (Ngāti Maniapoto) is a Senior Lecturer from Te Herenga Waka: Victoria University’s Te Kawa a Māui (School of Māori Studies) and the winner of a 2020 Tertiary Teaching Excellence Award. Her teaching, in both te reo Māori and mātauranga Māori, helps both Māori and Pākehā students navigate the wider cultural and societal implications of colonisation.
Hei whakanui i Te Wiki o te Reo Māori (14 ki te 20 o Hepetema) ka kōrero a Awanui ki a mātou i te reo Pākehā me te reo Māori e pā ana ki te hīkoi haere i Te Whanganui a Tara, te hokohoko kaka mārena me te whakaū i te noho o te reo Māori me te reo Pākehā ki Te Whanganui a Tara.
To celebrate Te Wiki o te Reo Māori (14-20 September) Awanui chats to us in English and te reo Māori about walking Wellington, wedding dress shopping, and how we can all help to make the capital a more bilingual city.
Describe your favourite Wellington memory.
Ko tētahi o ōku tino maumaharatanga mō Te Whanganui-a-Tara ko ngā wā e hīkoi haere ana māua ko tōku tino hoa mai i Newtown, whakawhiti atu ki Hataitai, ki te takutai moana o Pōneke, ā hoki mai ki te kāinga. Ka whakawātea mai tōku katoa i te hau titipārera o Tawhiritmātea, ka mutu ko te painga atu mēnā he hoa piripono ki tōku taha!
My favourite Wellington memories include the extensive evening walks I would take with my close friend through Newtown over Hataitai around bays and back home again. Being free to feel the gusty breeze clears the soul, and even better when you have great company!
If you could change one thing about Wellington, what would that be?
Mehemea ka taea te tētahi āhuatanga o te ahurea ki Te Whanganui-a-Tara, ka nui ake ngā wāhi korero Māori tae atu ki ngā wāhi kai, ngā wāhi tapahi makawe, ngā toa hoko kākahu, ā ka nui kē ake te whakamahinga o te reo Māori. Mēnā he wāhi i Aotearoa kua tino rite ki te whakatinana i te whakareorua, ko Pōneke tēnā. Tokomaha tātou e ako ana i te reo, heoi anō, kāore e nui ngā wāhi tūmatanui e pai mai ana kia reorua aua wāhi rā, ā ka taea rawatia e ngā pākihi te āwhina i te whakarauoratanga o te reo Māori
If I could change one thing about Wellington culture, I would have more Māori language spaces, including eateries, hair dressers, clothes shops and just te reo Māori far more widely used. I think that if anywhere in Aotearoa is ready to have more bilingual use, it’s Wellington. Many people are learning te reo Māori, but there are not many public spaces where bilingualism is accepted, and businesses can be a huge help with the Māori language revitalisation process.
What’s your favourite place in the wider Wellington region and why?
Ko te whenua o Kāpiti te wāhi tino pai ki ahau, nā te mea i tipu ake ahau ki reira, ā he nui tonu ōku whānau me ōku hoa e noho tonu ana ki Kāpiti. He whenua haumako hoki a Kāpiti, nō reira, he māmā rawa te whakatipu māra.
I would have to say the Kāpiti coast is my favourite place, as it’s where I spent a lot of time growing up and I still have family and friends out there. The soil is fertile there, and that means plants grow so well out there too.
What’s the best local purchase you’ve made this year?
Ko te mea pai rawa i hokona i te tau katoa, kaua i 2020 ake, ko te kākahu mō tā māua mārena i hokona i Ziggurat. Koia taku tino toa hokorua ki Te Whanganui-a-Tara. I manaakitia rawatia ahau e te kaihoko e Kate Bryant, ā nā tana āwhina kua whakatauria te mea tika mōku. Koia te toa tuatahi me te toa whakamutunga i haere ai ahau ki te hoko kākahu mārena, ā, e tino mārama ana ko te tikanga, he mahi takaroa kē tēnā.
My best purchase bought within the year, not specifically 2020, was my wedding dress from Ziggurat. It’s my favourite vintage shop in Wellington. The owner Kate Bryant was super helpful and because of her help we were able to decide on the one. It was the first and last place that I shopped for a wedding dress, which I understand can be quite a challenging task.
What’s your go-to takeaways order?
Ko te toa pai katoa ki ahau ki te hari kai, ko te Scopa, ka hokona te kapu tiakareti wera, nui rawa. Kāore he painga i tua atu.
My favourite go-to takeaway order is always a large hot chocolate from Scopa. Nothing beats it.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I ahau e tipu ake ana, i hiahia ahau kia tū hei roia i te ao, hei kaiwaiata i te pō. Heoi anō, ka waimarie ahau kāore e toka ērā whakataunga, nā te mea ka kore aua mahi e hāngai ana ki ōku hiahia ināianei.
When I was growing up, I wanted to be a lawyer by day and a singer by night. I am glad that I did not bind myself to those options, as neither of them sound very appealing to me now.