William Waiirua doing the mahi to speak Māori

William Waiirua is doing the mahi with te reo to gain the ultimate treat of being able to speak Māori.

Waiirua joined the Kawekōrero Reporters panel to express his aspirations for te reo Māori.

“That’s what I wanna do. Learn Māori and give it a go,” said Waiirua.

“Cause I get a lot of young kids come up to me speaking in Māori and I’m like ‘oh no’. I’m getting there. I’m gonna get there.”

Waiirua says it’s the reo Māori speakers around him who inspire him to be the full package – or in this case, the full kete.

“A lot of my friends speak Māori and I don’t,” said Waiirua.

“I really wanna learn it you know. You can’t be ‘Waiirua’ and not speak Māori.”

Waiirua, born William Cribb, says his obsession to inspire youth while working for Child Youth and Family set him on the path of becoming a social media sensation.

He was the Electoral Commission’s face for this year’s elections, he collaborates with New Zealand sports stars and celebrities on social media, he has a line of eye wear and now there are rumours he’s working on a music album.

“It’s awesome to help out where I can and hopefully inspire a lot of young Māori to get out there and give it a go.”

Waiirua hopes his journey to learn te reo Māori will encourage more young people to follow suit.