School hires Maori language teacher

Auckland Grammar, one of New Zealand’s leading secondary schools, has hired its first ever teacher of te reo Maori.

The boys’ college has also made te reo Maori a compulsory subject for all Year 9 students.

Maori language teacher Neitana Lobb, who was hired last year, said it had been an exciting journey to lead the school’s Maori language education.

“The school is 147 years old and to be the first Maori teacher — that really appealed to me because it’s something that has never been done before.”

The school has more than 500 Year 9 students, and only one te reo Maori teacher, but Mr Lobb is relishing the challenge of selling the benefits to his students.

“You get the odd person saying, ‘why should I learn it?’ and ‘I don’t need it when I go overseas’, but that’s something people don’t know — you do need it.

“Especially in the public sector and I’ve worked with lawyers and things like that in the past to help them with their mihi and how to use te reo Maori in their profession. A lot of people that I talk to who have finished school say ‘I wish I had learned it when I was at school'”.

Auckland Grammar previously offered French, Latin, Japanese and Spanish in its language curriculum.

More Stories