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Advocate of Bilingual and Bicultural Education (Elizabeth Pakai's story)

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childforum bio - elizabeth pakaiHe wāhine ahau o te waka a Takitimu
Ko Kahuranaki Te Maunga
Ko Poukawa Te Wai u
Ko Te Hauke Te Whenua
Ko Kahuranaki te Whare
Ko Te Whatuiapiti Te Hapu
Ko Te Whatuiapiti te tangata
Ko Ngati Kahungunu Te Iwi
Engari
No Ohakune taku kainga tupu
Ko Ruapehu Te Maunga
Ko Mangawhero Te Awa
Ko Waimarino Te Whenua
Ko Tirohanga te Whare
Ko Ngati Uenuku Te Hapu
Ko Te Atihaunui a Paparangi Te Iwi
Ko Aotea Te waka

Elizabeth Pakai also has Indian and Irish heritage and is a mother of four and nana of 14. She has lived with Ngati Whakaue – Te Arawa for 20 years and has learnt a great deal from kaumatua and people of this rohe.

 

What was your early life like? 

I am the fourth of eight children and grew up in the late 1940-1966 period in a small town at the foot of Mt Ruapehu. It was a time when we could ‘roam free’ so to speak. We lived among our cousins, aunties and uncles; our Irish grandmother lived not far away and our Indian nanny visited often. My Maori grandfather died before I was born, my Irish one when I was six, and I can only remember his rough face and the smell of his pipe.


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