Tautohetohe: Whaikōrero ki runga Marae

Tū atu, tū mai ko te pakanga-ā-whakaaro me ngā kupu-ā-tautohetohe, arā, ko te whakaaetanga me te whakakahoretanga. Tautohetohe, Maori TV

Tukuna mā te tangata tōtika hei whaikōrero ki runga i ō tātou Marae ahakoa tāne mai, wāhine mai, rangatahi mai: Let good speakers talk on our Marae be they men, women or young people.

A short, but interesting debate about the traditional practices of oratory rites on the Marae. In the past, the right to speak on the Marae was determined by certain laws that were strictly enforced and obeyed, for example, the elder statesman had the right of passage to stand and speak, women were forbidden to do so, younger men never stood before their older siblings and speaking in te reo Māori was of paramount importance. However, could there be room for change in our contemporary society that would allow for a diverse range of speakers on the Marae and especially with the changing landscape of whaikōrero in Aotearoa today, for example, Ngā Manu Kōrero. Today, Māori women and in particularly the youth are becoming more knowledgeable, informed and opinionated speakers across a broad range of subjects relevant to Māori issues, for example, political issues. Where, then would their voices have the most impact concerning these issues?

I am somewhat in favour of the topic; however, the question is too broad and should have concentrated on one specific group such as women speaking on the Marae because there is too much to consider in so little time when debating these diverse groups of speakers. That being said, I consider the topic and ask myself, what does it mean by ‘good speakers’ it is referring to the speaker’s ability in te reo Māori or oratory skills or subject knowledge or all. Is the topic suggesting an opportunity for men, women or youth to speak on the Marae taputapu ātea or inside Rongomaraeroa, which Vince points outs, but gives no explanation as to ‘why’. And in what context, would these groups of speakers be given an opportunity to speak on the Mārae ātea would it be formal or informal or both.

Progress is the result of constant change. (Taiapa, 2011)

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