(Ngāti Waewae) (she/her)
Bachelor of Law, GradDip Teaching (Secondary), Te Panekiretanga o Te Reo.
If teenage Ariana could have seen who she would grow up to be, the Reo Māori Mai founder reckons her younger self wouldn’t be able to believe it. Although she undertook a Certificate in Māori language between highschool and law school, it would be years before Ariana felt she could wield her mother tongue with any confidence or authority.
The birth of her second child awakened words within her and that began what is now a 12 year haerenga into the wonder of the Māori language, and the world that has opened up to her because of it. Ariana’s passion for the reo and ngāwari nature make her a perfect fit for a te reo Māori teacher and agent of transformational change.
Walking with one foot in te ao Pākehā, one foot i te ao Māori means the business director is well-placed to support people on their journey to not only learn the indigenous language of this land; it also enables her to support people as they unpack what it means to honour Te Tiriti o Waitangi, to unpack and confront racism in Aotearoa and to be on a path towards decolonisation.
Vicci captures one of Ariana’s many teaching strengths beautifully: “It's one thing to learn reo, but Ariana has the ability to share how we hold it. When to use it, when not to use it for example, or where to focus your reo journey.”
(Kāi Tūāhuriri, Kāti Huirapa) (she/her)
Diploma in Rongoā Māori, Bachelor of Arts (Te Reo Māori, Māori & Indigenous Studies), BA Honours (First Class) in Māori & Indigenous Studies.
This young wahine joined the Reo Māori Mai tīma after an intuitive invitation from Ariana to board the kaupapa - following Ariana’s semester as a lecturer in Lucy’s university class!
Lucy moved to Ōtautahi on a snap decision to study te reo Māori and Indigenous Studies at the University of Canterbury. She completed her Honours in 2021, which discusses the mana of tīpuna wāhine in her whakapapa and in the broader context of Kāi Tahu tribal history. Lucy has begun a journey into Rongoā Māori, which has quickly developed into a passion.
“Just seeing how much my worldview has shifted by being able to understand the intricacies of my whakapapa, the history of our country, has been transformational.”
Reo Māori Mai tends to call for kaimahi who can do a bit of everything and to that end, Lucy offers te reo Māori teaching, resource design, and is moving into the decolonisation facilitation space also.
In keeping with the lovable pets of Reo Māori Mai, her ngeru Luna has been a mainstay through the changes and challenges.
(Kāti Māhaki, Kāi Tahu) (she/her)
Diploma in Te Pīnakitanga ki te Reo Kairangi.
Although Liv grew up on Te Tai Poutini in Hokitika, it wasn’t until she and her Cornish husband brought their first tama into te ao mārama that she really experienced a home calling. Despite a career in England as a pharmacist technician, she wanted her tamariki to be raised in Aotearoa, with their marae and whakapapa close by.
In order to provide intergenerational transmission, Liv enrolled at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa (TWoA) in 2017 in Te Ara Reo Māori. This became a six year ara which established her fluency i te reo rangatira - and brought her into the tīma at Reo Māori Mai.
“I love working at Reo Māori Mai; we’re all on the same page, rowing the waka towards an Aotearoa Hou. My mahi means I get to go home to Makaawhio and keep strengthening my whānau’s connection there too.”
Liv now manages communication and logistics for He Ruru Mātauranga, an iwi-led strategy for Te Tai Poutini educators and learners to better engage in te ao Māori. Reo Māori Mai hold the contract for this mahi, which includes disseminating local pūrākau, upskilling kaiako and school board members on cultural competency, resource development and much more.
(Kāti Waewae, Kāti Irakehu) (she/her)
Bachelor of Mātauranga Māori, Bachelor of Teaching (te reo Māori)
As a Māmā to four tamariki between 4-13 years, (including twins!), Catherine’s why for joining the tīma at Reo Māori Mai is simple. “My passion is the revitalisation of our language, for our tamariki and mokopuna.”
As a former kaiako i te reo Māori, Catherine is a perfect fit to tautoko her cousin Ariana in delivering te reo Māori classes and working with whānau Māori in wānanga. She loves working for Reo Māori Mai because of the level of engagement she feels from clients and students.
“I've been in spaces having to work with people who are forced to be there, and it's just really hard. Genuine engagement makes it easier to work when people are prepared to listen."
“I enjoy seeing people who want to play their roles in the survival of the reo.”
Catherine recently relocated with her whānau from Lower Hutt to Mawhera to reconnect with her whenua and hapū. She’s since found her way to Ōtautahi and isn’t looking back. She says her mahi at Reo Māori Mai enables her to be the Mum she wants to be, while still feeling a sense of fulfilment in her work.
Nic is our Operations Manager extraordinaire. She keeps the Reo Māori Mai ship running tight by managing our day to day administration, finances and project management. Nic excels at all things systems, while also ensuring that these work for our wider team and our multiple commitments, “I really like the idea that I can make things better for people, people’s experience at mahi.”
Born and raised in Ōtautahi, it wasn’t until she joined Te Aho o te Kura Pounamu that her eyes were opened to te ao Māori. Like Vicci, she too has embraced the culture, and feels passionate to be part of making the ao a better place for her tamariki and those to follow.
Now as an integral part of our tīma at Reo Māori Mai, Nic values being part of an organisation with other parents who are supported by a pakihi that understands and values the vital role of mātua (parents).
Hailing straight out of Aranui, Ōtautahi, Jess is our business administrator and executive assistant. Her mahi involves assisting operations management, organising staff travel requirements and generally making Ariana’s work life a little easier.
She comes directly from a role supporting the Canterbury Refugee Centre, where she loved taking on case work for whānau clients on top of her role as executive assistant. It’s this care for people she brings to the Reo Māori Mai tīma.
At home, she’s solo Māmā to her tween daughter and also finds time to volunteer with Cat Rescue Christchurch. Her goal is to upskill with reo Māori and her growing horizon of understanding what it means to be Tangata Tiriti in Aotearoa.