Learning Te Reo can be hard, here's the podcast to help you along the way

By Rukuwai Tipene-Allen

With the turn of the new year, resolutions are all the talk around the barbeque this summer, and if your goals include learning Te Reo Māori then Kiinokast Reo Struggles may be the podcast for you.

Māori Entrepreneur, language advocate, MC, and radio personality Crystal Edwards, known as Kiino Krystal is the brains and the voice of the new podcast, she says, Kiinokast looks at "Te Reo Māori and all the struggles" the aim of the podcast is to "assist, help or even inspire you to feel the struggle and still speak it or use it regardless of the struggle" says Kiino.

After a wānanga with other reo advocates, Kiino decided it was time to make a personal podcast for people who are learning to show "real" insight into the high and lows of reclaiming their native language. She says, "ki te ako, ki te korero, ki te whakamahi rānei i te reo, koia ngā mea māmā koia hoki ngā mea uaua hoki" "learning, speaking, using the language are the easy parts but can also be the most challenging.

Kiino says the bilingual podcast will be upfront about struggles, she reflected on her own journey saying she took a step away from te reo in her youth decided to reengage at university. She shared how kārawarawa or grammar has been a challenge for her to overcome. On minute you know it and the next you're relearning it. She encourages people to keep going even when it's hard. 

"tokomaha ngā tāngata he whakamā" - A lot of people are too shy to speak

The exclusive content includes tips and tricks to speaking te reo every day, Kiino has two handy tips for all those hoping to make this new year's resolution a reality. 

1. "Whakarongo" - Listen, Te Reo Māori is everywhere, it's online, on tv, radio and even on Shortland St, it's up to us to listen carefully to the language that exists around us. 

2. "Ka timata ki a koe" - it all starts with you. "Nōu te reo" the language is yours, claim it. 

Kiinokast Reo Struggles will be available on Spotify and SoundCloud, the first episode is set to air on the 26th of January 2022

Te Reo in Demand

Data analysed by Ngāi Tahu’s innovation lab, Tokona te Raki (Māori Futures Collective) revealed job listings requesting Te Reo Māori as a skill had more than doubled in the year prior

Some 791 jobs listings sought Te Reo Māori speakers for the year to July 2021, compared with 324 the year earlier. 

The greatest demand for te Reo Māori speakers is in the Pōneke/ Wellington region.

Popularity grows for Te Reo Māori 

Paraone Gloyne. Photo / Supplied.


Mahuru Māori is a language initiative, started by language expert Paraone Gloyne in 2014 that encourages people to speak te Reo as much as they can through the month of Mahuru. The challenge started small now some 7 years later thousands have joined the ranks, all different levels of knowledge and proficiency. 
The people who register to the challenge can choose the level they are able to engage with, from greeting everyone in te Reo Māori to speaking only te reo for an hour a day to every day for the whole month of September and everything in between.

95 Mahuru Māori Reo champions told their stories in the 2021 September challenge and reached over 259.2K people in Aotearoa.