Jonathan Wilson

Iwi: Ngāti Haua (Ngāti Werewere)

Qualifications: Te Timatanga Hou, BSc (Earth Science), Diploma (Te Reo)

I have 3 young boys; all of whom have Māori as their first language. When my eldest boy went to kura I knew I had to do something about improving my reo or I wouldn't be able to support him in the way he needs. Consequently my partner and I decided I would grow and develop my reo for a year in a total immersion programme called Te Tohu Paetahi at The University of Waikato. This programme is taught by some of the best lecturers in the country through Te Pua Wānanga ki te Ao/ The School of Māori and Pacific Development. In order for me to do this however I had to give up my position as Production Supervisor at a large pipelines company here in Hamilton. This turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life. Improving my reo has been more just a year of study, it has been a journey; rich with discovery and personal growth. A journey my whānau and I have made together that will undoubtedly benefit us for many years to come.