For one hour a week Warriors and Kiwis forward Adam Blair and his family learn Te Reo Māori.
“With both our schedules and the kids, we’re never ever sitting around for an hour and learning something together so that’s a pretty cool journey for us,” Blair told Te Karere.
Ther family are learning Te Reo Māori as Blair wishes to immerse his whānau in the Māori world, not they are living back in New Zealand.
“Obviously, if I want to work in the Māori community I need to go in there and know the culture, know the language, to be respected and also to gain respect as well.” Blair’s wife and fellow student Jess Blair says.
“It’s really important for me to be able to at least speak some of the language.”
Blair went through kohanga, but once he found the world of league te ao Māori took a back seat in his life.
“Back in the day no one really wanted to speak Māori because you were frowned upon, because it was a different language,” says Blair.
“But today in this day and age everyone wants to speak it because it’s cool.
“I’ve been away for so long, I grew up speaking Māori fluently and I lost that when I left home and went to Australia. Now I’m back it’s my time to give back and learn.”
The family’s teacher Apimaera Thomas says he admires how eager they are to reclaim the language.
“While this is just a start, the most important thing is that they have a fervent desire. They really want to learn more about our culture,” he says.
Blair says he’s family’s long-term goal is to be able to converse fluently and correctly in their mother tongue.