“For me, te reo adds another dimension to being Māori. It enables one to feel a sense of belonging and connection to their culture and I want to be able to experience that privilege.”

Geneva Hakaraia (Ngāpuhi, Te Aupouri) has lived with athetoid cerebral palsy her entire life, a condition that affects her ability to communicate verbally. Her dream is to be able to communicate in te reo Māori through her communication device and for the last few years she’s dedicated her time towards making te reo Māori accessible for the non-verbal community.

This is part of our new reo Māori series, Ohinga, created by Mahi Tahi Media, with funding from Te Māngai Pāho.

Stay tuned for a new episode every week.

Watch more:

Connecting Māori businesses to the Pākehā world

Maramataka: using the lunar calendar to connect to te ao Māori

A young tā moko apprentice on why she’s learning the art of her ancestors