Tribute to Professor Te Wharehuia Milroy

Tūhoe leader and scholar Professor Te Wharehuia Milroy (CNZM, QSO) passed away earlier this year. A leader over decades in work in education, Māori language revival, the Kōhanga Reo movement and former member of the Waitangi Tribunal, Professor Milroy’s book, co-written with Professor Sir Timoti Karetu, He Kupu Tuku Iho: Ko te Reo Māori te Tatau ki te Ao, was published by Auckland University Press in 2018. Dr Vini Olsen-Reeder of Te Kawa a Māui was working on a review of Professor Milroy’s book for the Journal of New Zealand Studies when news of his passing came through. We publish it here as a tribute to Professor Milroy. A full version will appear in the December issue of the Journal of New Zealand Studies.

He Kupu Tuku Iho: Ko te reo Māori te tatau ki te Ao

Tā Tīmoti Kāretu me Ahorangi Wharehuia Milroy
Auckland University Press, Tāmaki Makaurau, 2018.
I tuhituhi a Vini Olsen-Reeder tēnei arotakenga

Tōia, tōia, tōia mai ko te kupenga-whāriki rangi e! Whano koe i tō kapo wairua ki runga rā he tiki noa mai i te tī, i te tā kua huri rā i te whatinga tai o te ora kia eke, eke ake! E Tara, āta whārikihia tō hao mai i Te Murumāra, i Te Wharehuia, kia ruia ki te rangi kia whetūrangitia. E Mū, e takoto. Wharehuia, e takoto. Waiho ake rā ko ō mahuetanga mai hei tiki ake i ngā mahi i makere mai i ō kōrua ringa - Ko te pō ki a kōrua, auē, ko te moe ki a kōrua!

I mate a Te Murumāra e ono pea ngā wiki i mua i te whakarewatanga o te pukapuka nei. Nō ngā marama whai ake i tōna putanga ki te ao, ka huri hoki a Te Wharehuia ki tōna okiokinga. Nā reira rā, ka noho pea ko tēnei kaupapa hei ōhākī nā rāua ki te ao nei. Kia waiho ake anō pea hei tohu whakamaumahara mō rāua, ki tā rāua i oti ai i tēnei ao, i mua i te takahi atu i te ara roa a Tāwhaki ki Te Rerenga Wairua. Kei ngā Pāpā, e moe!

Ko rāua ki a rāua, kāti ko tātou ki te ao mārama - nau mai ngā kupu tuku iho nei ki te whai ao, ki te ao mārama! Ko tēnei pukapuka, He Kupu Tuku Iho, te mātāmuri hou o te kāwai pukapuka i tāngia ai e te kamupene tā o Te Whare Wānanga o Tāmakimakaurau. Kua roa te tokorua rangatira nei e takahi ana i te nuku roa o te whakaora reo. Ko Tā Tīmoti Kāretu (Kahungunu, Ngāti Kōura, QSO, KNZM) me Ahorangi Wharehuia Milroy (Ngāi Tūhoe, Ngāti Kōura, QSO, CNZM) ētahi o ngā kaiurungi o te whakarauora reo, i hau ai te rongo i te reo Māori mai i te hiku o te ika, tae atu anō ki Rēkohu o runga. Ki tā rāua e kī nei, ‘ki te hiahia mōhio koe ki ahau, me mātua mōhio ki taku reo.’ Nō mātou te waimarie kia wherawhera i ngā wāhanga o tēnei pukapuka, e mōhio ai mātou ki a rāua, me ngā mahi kua oti i a rātou hei hāpai i tō tātou reo.

E muia ana te tuarā whārangi nei e te tini kaupapa e pā ana ki tō tātou reo: ko te wete reo, ko te ture, ki te kōrero whakakata, tae atu anō ki te kōrero auaha me te wairua. Ko ētahi wāhanga he whakaputanga whakaaro, ko ētahi anō he whakawhiti kōrero i waenganui i te tokorua, nā wai ka whakapukapukahia. Mā te whakatakoto pēnei i ngā kōrero ka mau tonu te whatu, te hinengaro, ā, pau noa ngā kupu.

Ko te ātaahua rawa o te korowai kupu nei ko te whakapukapuka i ngā kupu a ngā koroua nei ānō nei he kōrero ā-waha tonu. Kāore i āta rawekehia ngā kupu, he māmā noa ngā raweke, kia mau tonu ai te reo o ngā koroua me te mea nei kei te kōrero te tangata ki te tangata. Ko tā Te Wharehuia e kī ana, me whakahoki i te reo o te pene ki te arero. Inei te tauira e whakaatu mai ana me pēhea. Kotahi noa te reo ka kitea i tēnei pukapuka: ko te reo ngāwari, mārama rawa, o te Māori ko te reo Māori tōna reo mātāmua. Mā konei e whai hua ai tēnei pukapuka ki te hunga matatau, me te hunga kātahi anō nei ka tīmata te ako.

I te tau 1930 ka taetae ake a Tā Āpirana Ngata me te tono i te Tari Mātauranga o te wā kia ākona te reo Māori i ngā kura, me te kī ake kāore he kōrero whai mana a te Māori, hei aha mā wai te tuku i tōna reo kia mate. Ka huri a Āpirana i reira ka kohikohi i ngā kōrero tapu kia puta mai ai a Ngā Mōteatea ki te ao. Anā, kei konei ko tēnei kohinga kōrero hei tohu ake i te ora o tō tātou reo i runga i te pepa. Ko te pukapuka reo Māori anake ka tohe tonu i ngā kōrero whakatakē i te reo Māori o te wā, te poupou ake i te whare kōrero tapu o te Māori hei whakaruruhau mō tōna iwi, me tōna reo.

He waimarie au kua tūtaki i tēnei tokorua i roto i ngā tau, kia hongi i ngā ihu oneone i mauri ora ai tēnei pukapuka ki te ao. Ka mihi ake rā ki ngā kura tongarewa nei o te ao Māori i puta ai te whakaaro kia whakaputa i ō rāua kupu tuku iho ki te ao. Ko ngā amokura o mua tēnei e ārahi nei i a mātou, ngā hāpai ō e whai atu nei, kia tika te haere.

Nō reira kuhu mai rā e kare mā, ki te tatau o te whare kōrero nā rāua i whakatū, e puta ai tātou ki te whai ao, ki te ao mārama!