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Passion for te reo...The author of award-winning te reo sing-a-long books Sharon Holt will be holding two te reo Maori pronunciation workshops in Gore on October 17.PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Two te reo Maori pronunciation workshops are being held in Gore by Southern Reap.

The workshops will be presented by Sharon Holt, the author of award-winning te reo sing-a-long books.

Mrs Holt said she had held te reo Maori workshops with Reap throughout New Zealand and held workshops with Southern Reap twice before.

“I try to vary them so if people return they learn new things,” she said.

Mrs Holt said she thought it was a privilege to be able to share her te reo Maori knowledge.

“I’m very passionate about the correct pronunciation of te reo Maori.”

She had been learning te reo Maori since 2002. Before then, she had no Maori language skills.

“It’s something about how I’ve made it make sense to myself that allows me to teach it to others so easily.”

Many people who attended the workshops had a “light-bulb” moment when they clicked and realised correct pronunciation was not as difficult as they thought.

“It changes the way people view Maori language, and they realise it’s not that hard any more.”

The workshop would not focus solely on pronunciation, but also cover extra basic phrases people could use and a sentence structure game.

It would cover pronunciation of place names, greetings, common words and flora and fauna.

Place names were very special to Maori and each name had a meaning, Mrs Holt said.

“It’s about realising we can change how we do things, just like we can change bad habits, or our lifestyle.

“For me it’s about respect for Maori people, the language and our land.”

It took one generation to use the correct pronunciation to make change.

“Pronunciation is easy once you learn it.

“It’s about having the motivation to do it differently and realising it’s easy.”

Mrs Holt said she often had teachers attend and was keen to have other people from the community come along too.

Southern Reap Ace adult community education manager Jonelle McDowall said Southern Reap manager Dawn Brocks had attended one of Mrs Holt’s workshops and thought it was very good.

“So we’ve decided to follow through and bring her down as well.

“This is a workshop for you if you can’t commit to a long-term workshop, but you want to learn some of the basic te reo Maori pronunciation.”

The benefit of the workshop was that it gave people confidence, Mrs McDowall said.

“It might be that when somebody comes into a business you’re confident to say the local place name or that sort of thing.

“We’ve got workshops in Gore, Winton and it’s also going to Queenstown as well.”

The Gore workshop would be held on Wednesday, October 17 at the James Cumming Wing, with the afternoon session running from 2pm to 4pm and the evening session running from 6.30pm to 8.30pm.

For more information or to enrol, contact Tash on 0800 111-117 or email enquiries@reap.co.nz.