Celebrating Cook Islands Language Week 2016

Kia ariki au i toku tupuranga, ka ora uatu rai toku reo
To embrace my heritage, my language lives on

Sunday marked the start of Cook Islands Maori Language Week (31 July – 6 August). Cook Islanders make up the second largest Pacific Island group in New Zealand (behind Samoan) and there are more Cook Islanders in New Zealand than there are in the Cook Islands. Despite this Cook Islands Māori does not even register in the top spoken languages in New Zealand. Cook Islands Māori has been identified as one of UNESCO’s endangered languages.

There are several different dialects across the Cook Islands and the Pukapukan language has a very strong Samoan influence. Cook Islands Māori is very similar to Te Reo Māori, Hawaiian
Maoli, and the indigenous Tahitian Ma’ohi language (as you can tell from what they’re called).

Cook Islands Language Week 2016

To celebrate Cook Islands Māori Language Week, and highlight the resources we offer in our network, four libraries will be hosting paper tivaevae craft as an add-on to their regular sessions.
These are as follows:

  • Wednesday 3rd August : Aranui Library – Rocket Club – 3.30-4.30pm
  • Thursday 4th August : Linwood post-Storytimes – 10.00am
  • Te Hāpua post-Storytimes – 11:30am
  • Saturday 6th August: Shirley Super Saturday Storytimes – 11:00am

For more information see our events calendar.

If you would like to celebrate Cook Islands Language Week try a few of these phrases….
Kia orana = Hello (literally, “may you live long”)
Aere ra = Goodbye
Meitaki = Thank you
‘Ae = yes
Kare = no
Tane = man
Vaine = woman
Manea = pretty/handsome

Meitaki Ma’ata (Thank you very much) & Happy Cook Islands Language Week!

Find Cook Islands language resources:

Jan-Hai Te Ratana
Te Hāpua: Halswell Centre

Cook Islands Language Week 2015

Hibiscus flowerCook Islands Language Week – Te ‘Epetoma o Te Reo Kūki ‘Āirani celebrates the languages spoken by the people of the Cook Islands; Cook Islands Māori, the Western Polynesian language Pukapuka, and the distinctive mixture of Cook Islands Māori and English spoken by the people of Palmerston Island.

In 2015 Cook Islands Language week will take place from 3 – 9 August. The theme for Cook Islands Language week this year is –

To tatou reo tupuna e korona ia no to tatou matakeinanga

Our language is a crowning glory of our community

2015 is also the Cook Islands’ 50th year anniversary of self-governance in free association with New Zealand.

Celebrate at Christchurch City Libraries

Cook Islands Māori Storytimes at Aranui Library

In conjunction with the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs, Aranui Library will be hosting a community event in the form of a Cook Islands Māori Language themed storytime on Thursday 6 August, 11am-11.30am.

Our Resources

Check out our Cook Islands Language Week page for sound files of basic Cook Islands Māori greetings and words.

Cover of Cook Islands Māori alphabet bookSearch our catalogue for Cook Islands Language resources –