Te Reo Whakahoahoa #6

Yesterday marked the end of both the formal learning classes and the tutorials for Te Reo Whakahoahoa. It was also the day I had scheduled for my oral assessment.  Here’s what we had to do:

  • Listen to 5 pātai from the assessor and give an appropriate response
  • Ask our assessor 5 pātai and listen for a correct response
  • Recount an activity that occurred in the week prior
  • Describe what is happening in 5 supplied pictures

Grammar, pronunciation and flow were criteria assessed in each of the activities.

Assessor questions:

  • Ko wai tō whaea? (Who is your Mum)
  • Nō hea tō whaea? (Where is your Mum from)
  • Kei te aha koe i ahiahi? (What are you doing this afternoon)
  • He aha te kai pai ki a koe? (What food do you like)
  • Kei hea koe e noho ana? (Where are you staying/living?)

We had an idea of which questions would be asked, for example, Ko wai, Nō hea but we didn’t know in advance who it would be in relation to (the pronoun).  In our preparation, we had to be aware of multiple responses for I/me, you, him/her, whānau members etc.

My questions:

  • He aha kei roto i te kete? (What is in the bag)
  • E hia ngā tiakarete? (How many chocolates are there)
  • He aha te tae o tēnei tiakarete? (What colour is this chocolate)
  • He aha te kupu Māori mō ‘Crunchie’? (What is the Māori word for Crunchie)
  • He tiakarete māu? (Would you like a chocolate)

There were no conditions or restrictions on the questions we could ask.  The most challenging part for me was deciding which 5 questions, and then, how would I remember them.  I decided to go with a themed ‘something’ and sought inspiration from the pantry.  And there it was – a box of Favourites chocolates – I now had my themed ‘something’.

I found it helpful for me to include an action with each question; a way to reinforce the kōrero if you like.  For example, with He aha kei roto i te kete? my action was to hold the bag up towards the assessor.  With E hia ngā tiakarete? I lay the bag flat on the table so he could see clearly how many chocolates were in the bag. When I asked He aha te tae o tēnei tiakarete? my action was to remove a ‘Dream’ bar from the bag and place it on the table.  (Note: as I hadn’t asked inside or outside of the wrapper, blue or white would have both been correct answers). The question He aha te kupu Māori mō ‘Crunchie’? was really to see if there was a loan word for it and a reminder for me that there was only one question to go.  And finally,with the action for He tiakarete māu? I offered the open bag to my assessor.


Again, the challenge was to create a recount that was elaborate enough to demonstrate what we had learned, and be meaningful enough to remember.  I went with a real-life scenario that I could easily visualise in my mind during the recitation.  It was ‘chunked’ it into 3 segments: an intro to the activity, an action that occurred at the start, and a consequence of that action plus what I liked about the activity. (In hindsight that could have been 4 segments, anyways..) Note: I have changed the names as I mentioned real people within my assessment.

  • An introduction

Tense: I tērā wiki,
Verb & Pronoun: i haere māua ko Aroha
Subject: ki te Whakataetae Kapa Haka ko Tangata Rau i te Regent Theatre.

  • An action occurring at the start

Tense: I taua wā,
Verb & Pronoun: i tae tōmuri māua, ā, i tū mātou ko Hēmi
Subject: kei runga i ngā kaupae

  • A consequence of the action & something I liked about the activity

Locative: Nō reira,
Negation of Verb & Pronoun: kāore mātou i kite
Subject: i te waiata tuatahi mā Te Tū Mataora.
*Interjection: Engari, he pai tonu tērā hui taurima.
*Particle: Ko Te Rōpū Haka o Kairanga i te rōpū te pai ki a au.

*Unsure if those are the correct descriptors.

In composing the recount I struggled with the negation of the verb, pronoun and subject within Segment 3.  The equivalent of what I wanted to say in English was: ‘we missed the first song by Te Tū Mataora’ – with emphasis being on the word ‘miss’ and when I came to writing the draft, this was the focus I took. I was trying to take a negative sentence structure in English and then negate it in Māori.  However, it was suggested I look at it from a different perspective: consider a positive sentence structure, and then negate it, as this would be a better way of saying something in Māori.

It is implied in the English sentence we missed seeing/watching/viewing the first song even though those 3 words are never said. So, rather than say ‘we missed‘ something (implied), for this example it is better to say ‘we did not see‘ something – it took me some time to get my head around that.  Here are the structures in positive and negative form:

  • Positive structure: I kite mātou i te waiata tuatahi mā Te Tu Mata Ora
  • Positive structure negated: Kāore mātou i kite i te waiata tuatahi mā Te Tu Mata Ora

Another pointer I was given, this time to help with recall, was to add the first word or two of the next segment to the end of the previous.  So for example, in segment two after ‘kei runga i ngā kaupae’ I would add ‘nō reira’.  I practiced reciting it this way and the strategy seemed to work really well for me.  Here is the recount I presented for my assessment:

I tērā wiki, i haere māua ko Aroha ki te whakataetae Kapa Haka ko Tangata Rau i te Regent Theatre. I taua wā, i tae tōmuri māua, ā, i tū mātou Ko Hēmi kei runga i ngā kaupae. Nō reira, kāore mātou i kite i te waiata tuatahi mā Te Tū Mataora engari he pai tonu tērā hui taurima.  Ko Te Rōpū Haka o Kairanga i te rōpū te pai ki a au.

Last week, Aroha and I went to the Tangata Rau Kapa Haka competition at the Regent Theatre.  At that time, we arrived late and stood with Hēmi at the top of the stairs.  Therefore, we did not see the first song by Te Tū Mataora but the festival was good. The group I liked was Kairanga.


The final part of the assessment was to look at 9 pictures, and describe the actions within 5 of them.  Here are the answers I gave:

  • Kei te horoi a Aroha i te motokā
  • Kei te horoi a Peta i ngā kākahu
  • Kei te tunu te kuia i te kai
  • Kei te waruwaru rāua i ngā rīwai
  • Kei te kato a Henare i te pūhā

To finish off the day, we had a shared kai at the Wharenui – lots of food, talking, guitar playing and waiata.  We’ll be seeing each other again in 2 weeks at the exam venue.  The splash photo shows a selection of kina and lemon shots, that were kindly provided by our lecturer!  An acquired taste I’m told though I went straight for the pāua fritter’s he’d just barbequed.



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