Reo Māori teacher, Super rugby player

By James Perry

Te Reo Māori teacher Matiaha Martin, who is of Waikato descent, recently made his Super Rugby debut for the Blues.

He says he was over the moon when he received the phone call asking him to join the Blues, and is absolutely happy to be playing at a high level of rugby.

Martin teaches te reo Māori at Tangaroa College in Ōtara and is also going about finding ways to influence Te Reo Māori within the Blues as well.

He says even little phrases such as 'mōrena', or 'tēnā koe' can go a long way to nurturing te reo.

It is this passion for Te Reo Māori that also leads Martin to support the 'Say My Name' campaign led by New Zealand Rugby. He says a name is very important to a person. When it is said properly the person's mana is uplifted.

Martin uses his own experience as an example, saying that when he hears his own name pronounced correctly, it makes him and his whānau happy.

The Blues have only a few games remaining in this season, and Martin's hope is that the team can restore some pride in the jersey, and repay the faith shown by their fans.

Having now reached the super rugby level, Martin is hoping he can pick up a full-time contract for next season.  He also has his eyes on a Māori All Black jersey, and possibly an All Blacks placing as well.