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the language I carry is from

my grandmother


This is  who I am. This is my pepeha,

the land, the river, the people that made me and shaped me.

My name is Riria .

Kororia ki taku Atua  

Hikurangi toku maunga

Waiapu toku awa 

Nukutaememeha toku waka

OHine Waiapu toku Marae

Ngāti Porou tōku Iwi 

Whanau A Takimoana toku hapu

Aratia te urupa

No te whanau o nga

Kahaki, Wanoa, Reihana, Tipoki, Kaa

Te taha o toku mama 

Honour to my God

Hikurangi Hill I look up to

Waiapu flows by me

Nukutaememeha is my ancient canoe 

OHine Waiapu shelters me from the winds

Ngati Porou people I belong to

Whanau A Takimoana give me my strength

Aratia is where my ancestors rest

Kahaki, Wanoa, Tipoki,Reihana , Kaa make up my blood family

My mothers side

I was raised by my nanny Riria, whose name I carry, her first mokopuna, I was special and loved because Nanny had lost 10 of her babies and only 4 survived. I have 2 surviving Uncles, both have no children. 

Life in Rangitukia was Heaven on Earth, huge vege gardens of acres of kumara and potatoes, and all varieties of corn. Harvest time was serious work. We had a wood range stove to cook on and  kanga kopiro- rotten corn was the best dessert ever. Marae gatherings and Pa life was vibrant. Hosting was normal; from getting firewood and picking puha to setting out beds and tables, it was the norm for  growing  children at that time.

Waiata and impromptu skits and  speeches by the best orators, and ongoing witty banter added to my unconscious learning.  All my Kuia and Koroua were dynamic in every way on how they conducted themselves with mana and dignity.

Korero in the kauta , the back kitchen resounded with animated discussions from wild  horses that was broken in by one of the locals to heated  discussions about incompetent koretake individuals in the local Land Courts or in the Whare Paremata, Parliament.

 I heard many a conversations daily within my Whanau A Takimoana and the Riu O Waiapu that displayed Te Reo in all its glory. Full of gusto, nuance, with body language to match depicting a people who represented a powerful rich oral history passed down from our tupuna .

All this has played an important part to making me who I am today. My calling is to pass on as much as I can to what crumbs I have to create a banquet for others. 

I went to Rangitukia School and  Ngata Memorial College. Later I went to Palmerston Teachers College, that  went  exceptionally well for me, although I did not complete my teacher training. I went home to look after nanny, only  for her to live another 20 years.

The next 30 years were filled with promoting and developing Te Reo in various ways; from play centres, to Kohanga Reo, to Adult Education and currently to setting up this Service , Te Ha O Te Reo.

I am 57, married to my number one supporter from Waimana, Tuhoe Ken Haturini. I have 2 sons Anaru Kahaki and Te Uruwera Tawhara and a daughter, Ngapera Haturini. I currently live  in Gisborne , and I will be returning to our Papakainga in Rangitukia in 2020.

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