Māori expatriate teaches te Reo to the 'four winds'

By Mare Haimona-Riki

Amelia Butler of Ngāti Wai, Ngāpuhi and Ngāti Awa is the creator of a forum called "Learn Māori abroad,” a Reo programme that she runs from her home in Los Angeles.

Butler grew up speaking Te Reo at kohanga reo and carried on her reo at secondary school learning by correspondence.

"Then I went to the Univesity of Auckland and studied Māori as my major for my BA.

But 11 years ago she moved to the US to pursue a career in hip-hop dance.

Amelia Butler and friends performing haka in Dallas Texas - Source/Facebook

Butler's students range from Māori to non-Māori in the US and around the globe, including the UK, Singapore, Australia and different American states.

"I had the idea about two to three years ago, so I reached out to some of the Kwi community here in America, and I had a few responses so I put a curriculum together."

The classes are both digital and in person, and are independently funded, which Butler says is a challenge but not enough to lose motivation to carry on this kaupapa.

"One of the main challenges for those who are learning Te Reo Māori abroad is that they are not around it every day so keeping that reo engagement up daily is so important."