If there is one thing I have learned that is super important, it is the need to listen and learn.
I don’t talk much in the Māori world. I think I have spoken up in a group situation on a noho marae only once, maybe twice, and that wasn’t until I’d been part of the group for a long time. If I do speak, it is often to ask a question or to try to understand something. When people around me kōrero Māori I try to keep up. I sometimes get my phone out and open the Māori Dictionary online to check some of the tricky vocab that I hear. I can never keep up but sometimes I can follow along — mostly I can’t. That’s my problem and no one else’s. I keep trying to listen to everything and to learn. There are multiple perspectives on issues and ways of working in the Māori world and every situation is unique — just as it is in the Pākehā world.