Since 1975 New Zealand has celebrated Te Wiki o te Reo Māori, recognising the Māori language as a unique taonga for all New Zealanders.
Christchurch City Libraries have supported the kaupapa of Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori over the past years in a number of ways, endeavouring to promote the week as a time for learning and celebrating te reo Māori. Check out the Reo Māori option on our self-issue kiosks during Te Wiki o te Reo Māori this September.
The theme of Te Wiki o te Reo Māori 2018 is “kia kaha te Reo Māori – strengthening the Māori Language”. Over 30 years on from recognition as an official New Zealand language, there are now many ways we can strengthen our Māori Language skills. Whether it be from the comfort of our home using online resources provided by groups such as Kotahi Mano Kaika – the Ngāi Tahu Reo Māori initiative or Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori – the Māori Language Commission; or attending free classes offered at organisations such as Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, the opportunities are endless.
Let’s be honest, it isn’t easy learning a second language, but nothing worthwhile ever came easy. It is a doorway to another world view, another perspective. It is a journey and like all journeys there is a lot to be discovered about this language and about ourselves.
Te Reo Māori (the Māori Language) is not a ‘one week, once a year’ language, it is a living language and as such it should be used at home, at work, at school, everywhere and anywhere. As the saying goes ’a little word can save a language’, so why not give it a go, start small and aim big! Help us strengthen te Reo Māori within our community, within our whānau (family) but most of all within ourselves!
Nā reira, kia kaha te Reo Māori – karawhiua! — therefore let the Māori Language be strong – give it a go!
Maatakiwi Wakefield Kaitakawaenga
Recommended title: Māori at home by Scotty and Stacey Morrison
Māori at home by Scotty and Stacey Morrison is a fantastic starting point if you are looking to increase your usage of te reo Māori at home. With 18 different sections, the book covers handy words and phrases to use around behaviour and chores, before and after school, at the playground or supermarket.
One of my favourite sections in this book is the one on Te Ao Matahiko – The Digital World. As our families and children embrace the latest technological advancements keeping up with all the new kupu becomes quite important. With that in mind I have found Māori At Home really useful in our whare. A few of my favourite handy phrases from this book:
Tohu kare-ā-roto – Emoji
Kei te mātaki whitiāhua i a TiriAta – I’m watching videos on YouTube.
Kāti te whirinaki ki ngā hangarau – Stop continuously playing on your electronic devices.
Māori at home is an easy read and a very functional resource. If you haven’t already I encourage you to have a read, introduce a new Māori phrase into your family’s daily routine.
Find out more
Throughout Te Wiki o te Reo Māori we’ll be blogging about ways you can help strengthen the reo.
It was a chilly, damp, blustery and all-over a very Christchurch kind of day on Friday. Sheltered in the foyer of the Piano was a small and well-wrapped group of people, both long-term locals and people visiting just for the weekend, waiting for our 90 minute tour of the central city with Joseph Hullen (Ngāi Tūāhuriri/Ngāti Hinematua). I was really looking forward to it – I love finding out the stories behind a place, how human histories are represented in art and design. Joseph, and Ōtautahi – did not disappoint. The work that Matapopore has put into Ōtautahi Christchurch is incredible.
We started the tour in Victoria Square, near the site of Puari, a Waitaha Pā. The square was later known as Market Square after colonial settlement, and Joseph talked about the European design of the square and how it’s a bit… higgledy-piggledy (my word there, not his). Queen Victoria faces toward a building that isn’t named after her, faces away from a street that is named after her, and the closest figure to her is James Cook, a man she shares no whakapapa with. Their life spans never even crossed over.
In 1857, Ngāi Tahu rangatira, Matiaha Tiramōrehu, wrote a letter to Queen Victoria calling “That the law be made one, that the commandments be made one, that the nation be made one, that the white skin be made just as equal with the dark skin.” These words, and more from his letter, now adorn the tall windows of the Hereford Street entrance of Te Hononga, the Christchurch Civic building. A lovely link between Victoria Square and the Council building.
Our second stop was our very own Tūranga, the new Central Library. Joseph told us the story behind the naming of the building as he explained the artwork carved into the stone above our heads. Tūranga was the place that Ngāi Tahu ancestor Paikea landed in Aotearoa, after his journey from Hawaiki on the back of a whale. It is a fitting name for a library – a repository of knowledge – as Paikea bought with him all the wisdom and knowledge from his homeland. The art on the side of Tūranga represents migration stories, and the pathways that bring people from all over the world to our shores.
Another thing to note, when standing directly under Tūranga and looking up at the building, is how ABSOLUTELY MASSIVE it is! Phwoar!
Next we ventured down toward Te Hononga on Hereford Street to see Matiaha Tiramōrehu’s words on the windows, and explored the art and the rain gardens across the road at the Pita Te Hore Centre, where the old King Edward Barracks used to stand. Before the barracks, it was at the edge of the Puari Pā site. Joseph drew our attention to the banks of the river and the fact that the side we stood on was higher ground than the other – a very sensible place to build as it was much safer when the river flooded!
There’s a lot to see in the Pita Te Hore Centre, the landscaped courtyard in the centre of the office buildings is gorgeous. The stormwater is all treated on site in the rain gardens which are full of native plants. A moving sculpture, called Pupu Harakiki, commemorates Lisa Willems who died in the 2011 earthquake. Another sculpture, Kirihau – Resilience, speaks of the kaha – the strength and resilience of the tuna – the long finned eels – to adapt to their environment and it acknowledge the durability and adaptation of the people who live here as well.
The tiles under our feet are laid out in a poutama pattern – it looks like a series of steps, climbing toward excellence. The pattern also represents the pathway that the local soldiers took during World War One – out of the King Edward Barracks, across the river, toward the train station, over to the port at Lyttelton, and off to war.
We followed the same path as the soldiers across the river (although there is a bridge there now – the soldiers at the time trudged across the water), across the Bridge of Remembrance. In front of the bridge is one of the series of 13 Ngā Whāriki Manaaki – woven mats of welcome. This one, Maumahara, remembers the men and women fallen in battle. Images of poppies are woven into the pattern that represents the march to war, and the journey after death to the spiritual realm.
Next we stepped down toward the river where little tuna were poking their heads out from beneath the steps, drawn out by Joseph’s tempting fingers on the water. This whole area was a mahinga kai – a food gathering place – rich with tuna. This started a discussion among the group about sustainability – you get heaps more protein and calories from an acre of tuna than you could ever get from an acre of cows, and farming tuna is much better for the environment than farming cows.
Onward we walked to Hine-Pāka, the Bus Interchange, where the artwork on the ground in front of the entrance understandably represents navigation. Joseph drew our attention upwards too. Ngā whetū, constellations used for navigation, adorn the ceiling.
From the exchange we looped up Manchester Street, where the high density housing in the East Frame is going in – and the greenery around it in the Rauora Park. There’s also a basketball court and climbing frame – places to play are a vital part of any residential area.
Finally we heading back past Tūranga for a group photo, then back to the Piano where members of the group thanked Joseph with a waiata, a moving close to a really brilliant tour.
Jeanette King, Hana O’Regan (head manager of Oranga at Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu), lecturer Hēmi Kelly and writer/broadcaster Miriama Kamo gathered early on Sunday morning to kōrero about one of our official languages, te reo Māori.
All agreed that there has been a positive shift in the last few years towards te reo, a gathering of momentum or fruition from the hard work from the past decades. There has been a nationwide increase in enrolments of those learning te reo Māori, and presence in the media has been increasing, with reporters all the way up to our Prime Minister using te reo on TV and radio. Exciting times!
Miriama was keen to capitalise on this goodwill by starting to teach our history properly in schools to understand what we as a country have gotten wrong or right, to understand who we are and where we come from through an historical perspective. For her pronunciation is a key place to start: “For me I love to hear people trying, even if you get it wrong your heart’s in the right place. This is our official language! We should be owning it, wanting to speak it.” This is especially important for those with a Māori name: “If you don’t pronounce my name properly it’s not really my name, is it?” Something close to my heart as someone whose name is also frequently mispronounced.
Hana thought promoting te reo as a normal part of our community is an important step in getting over our fear of bilingualism or multilingualism. We’re all still caught up in the historical narrative that learning more than one language compromises our ability to use our first tongue, or that te reo isn’t useful, which isn’t supported by the evidence at all: we’re actually doing our children a disservice by raising them monolingual. “Bilingualism is a benefit to everyone — it doesn’t matter what language it is, but the positive impact is compounded [with te reo] because it’s connected with our history and the land.” Hēmi agreed, pointing out that as New Zealanders none of us are that far removed from te reo Māori as we are surrounded by Māori place names and kupu that are in common usage.
When Jeanette asked about those who feel hesitant to learn and speak te reo due to worrying about appropriating yet another aspect of Māori culture, Hana shook her head. “I can’t even comprehend a negative reaction to someone learning to speak Māori. Every person who uses te reo is actually showing not just respect but is doing their bit to make sure this important part of our heritage is still around.” In fact as more people learn te reo and we hear more around us, the easier and quicker it will be to learn, and the easier it will be to find teachers who can teach te reo. The struggle to find qualified teachers is one major obstacle for immediately making te reo Māori compulsory in schools, so a graduated approach is recommended. Making sure all graduating teachers have a certain proficiency would be a good first step.
It takes a short time to demolish a house but it takes a lot longer to built it — Christchurch knows this! It takes longer to reconstruct something that has been destroyed. Don’t get disappointed by the first hurdle, or pot hole or road block. Good things take time and Aotearoa is worth it. — Hana O’Regan
This goes also for those struggling to learn te reo — just because you’re not amazingly fluent straight away doesn’t mean you should give up! Every bit you learn is helping those around you as well as yourself. Hēmi: “Everybody in this room is a change agent.”
Matariki – the Māori New Year – will take place on 6-9 July 2018. During Matariki we celebrate our unique place in the world. We give respect to the whenua on which we live, and admiration to our mother earth, Papatūānuku.
Matariki 2018 at Christchurch City Libraries continues the theme of ‘Te Iwa o Matariki – the Nine stars of Matariki’, this year with a focus on Toitū Ngā Mahinga Kai o Matariki – Sustainable natural resources of Matariki: Tupuānuku, Tupuārangi, Ururangi.
During June in the lead up to Māori New Year we’ll be offering a range of whānau-friendly celebrations and activities at our libraries.
Each year a community art project runs in our libraries for all to explore their creative side. This year the project is create a replica manu tukutuku (traditional Māori kite). Materials are supplied, all you have to do is bring your creativity.
Our Learning Centres are offering special Matariki Connect sessions for schools, introducing students to the key concepts of Te Iwa o Matariki, and involving a range of fun activities. This programme is now fully booked.
The Arts Centre invites you to come together as a community / whānau to celebrate Matariki 2018 with a variety of activities including a talk by Māori astronomer Dr Rangi Matamua, kapa haka, music and themed storytime sessions.
Matariki Celebration – Ara: Institute of Canterbury – 11-15 June
Ara will be having a whole programme of celebrations and activities 11-15 June across all of their campuses, including waiata, games, speakers, and food.
Pop along to the Bromley Community Centre to celebrate Matariki (Māori New Year)
Free entertainment, free activities, free tea and coffee, free fruit, plus affordable, yummy Māori kai available to purchase! Bromley School Kapa Haka Group will be performing at 4:30pm
Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū – Listen to a new story, The Stolen Stars of Marariki by Miriana Kamo and Zak Waipara, and then make your own Matariki mobile to take home. Ages 4-9. $5 per child, book online.
Organised by Avebury House, Avon-Ōtākaro Network and Richmond Community Garden. Guests are encouraged to contribute produce from their own garden or pantry, dropping off at Avebury House at 11am to contribute to the shared meal from 12 noon to 2pm. Please RSVP to let them know participant numbers and harvest contribution at: www.aveburyhouse.co.nz
Māori crafts (wood carving and flax weaving)
Fun things to do for kids.
Shared kai of soups by Richard Till, and a hangi
blessing and opening of the Native Edible Garden in the Richmond Community Garden
Beginning on Monday 18th June at 5pm with a powhiri, this exhibition showcases contemporary and traditional art works by local Māori artists. Free Kapa haka classes will be held throughout the exhibition and follow the theme of the seven stars of Matariki. The classes offered this year are kite making, movies, waiata and a concert on the final night of Friday 6th July at 5pm.
The children’s activities will be held Tuesdays 4.30pm – 6.30pm & Fridays 5pm onwards throughout the exhibition.
Tuesday 19 June Kapa Haka arts storytelling
Friday 22 June Traditional Games
Tuesday 26 June Movie night
Friday 29 June Whānau movie night
Tuesday 3 July Kapa Haka arts storytelling
Friday 6 July Concert night.
There is no charge for classes however registrations are essential. Call 981 2881 to book. Children and families most welcome.
388 Worcester Street
Monday to Friday 11am – 4pm
Saturday 12pm – 3pm
Most art works will be for sale
Create nature inspired lanterns this Matariki at the Gardens. Combine twigs, leaves and paper to make LED candle lanterns and light up the chilly nights of Matariki. Limited places and parents and guardians will be required to help with construction. Please note that we will be using hot glue. This workshop is most suitable for 7 to 12 year olds, but all ages are welcome. Cost $5 per child.
10am to midday
Christchurch Botanic Gardens
Visitor Centre and Ilex Cafe
Celebrating Matariki at the Phillipstown Community Hub!
A family day with lots of activities, bouncy castle, face painting, carving, music, waiata, traditional sports, photo booths, arts & crafts, kapa haka, and – of course – kai!
Phillipstown Community Hub
39 Nursery Road
Matariki celebrations at Rehua Marae – subscribe to the Facebook event.
Kai and craft stalls, entertainment from local kapa haka and Maori musicians, free workshops. Entertainment: Kaitaka Tupuna O Rehua, Nga Toi O Te Rangi, Lisa Tui, Nga Manu a Tane, Mahina Kaui, Te Ahikaaroa, Te Kotahitanga, and the Koro Band. Workshops (start at 11.30) include star weaving, miniature kite making, tiki making, lantern making,and poi making. Some workshops have limited spaces.
The mobile library van will also be on site.
79 Springfield Road
Join rongoā practitioners as they celebrate Matariki the Māori New Year with a dawn karakia and tree planting as a symbol of new beginnings. The dawn planting will be followed by a hui with kai (bring a plate of food to share) and discussion of the plans for the next 12 months for this new park.
There will also second planting event at 10am. This planting event is suitable for families.
2017 is a significant year. Twenty years ago – on 21 November 1997 – Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu and the Crown signed the Ngāi Tahu Deed of Settlement at Takahanga Marae in Kaikōura. This was followed by the passing of the Ngāi Tahu Claim Settlement Act into law 29 September 1998. Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu reports: “The Deed was signed by then Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu Kaiwhakahaere, Charlie Crofts, and the then Prime Minister Jim Bolger.”
Kōrero on Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu website highlights what the settlement meant to Ngāi Tahu whānau.
Te Kerēme is a selective index to the Ngāi Tahu claim. It provides volume and page number references to material from the Ngāi Tahu Māori Trust Board Claim before the Waitangi Tribunal which is held in the Ngā Pounamu Māori Centre at Central Library Manchester. Material indexed includes: iwi, hapū, marae, individual people, organisations, places and events.
Find out more
The Ngai Tahu Report, 1991 – Definitive account from the Waitangi Tribunal. Has summary of grievances, findings and recommendations. Useful list of contents and maps.
“This is my 2nd photo of the waka on Waitangi Day, 1977. The launching coincided with the opening of the Museum. I’m not sure if this was taken prior to the official launching, or the way back. (I think it was the latter). See also File Reference: HWC08-SO-101.”
Date: 6 February 1977
File Reference: HWC08-SO102
Entry in the Christchurch City Libraries 2008 Photo Hunt.
Photo Hunt 2017: Plains, Port Hills & Peninsula – Finding our way
This year the theme for Photo Hunt is Plains, Port Hills & Peninsula – Finding our way. However, the photos you submit are not limited to this theme. We invite you to share any of your photos and help grow the city’s photographic archive. All entries must be received by 31 October.
Kete Christchurch is a collection of photographs and stories about Christchurch and Canterbury, past and present. Anyone can join and contribute.
What’s in a name? A whole story, actually! Every library in the Christchurch City Libraries network is named in both English and Māori, and with two new libraries (or rather, libraries returning in sparkly new form) popping up recently, we’d like to share a bit about their Māori names.
Our libraries’ Māori names tell some great stories about their areas. For instance Matuku Takotako: Sumner Centre has been given the original Ngāi Tahu name for Sumner Beach. Literally referencing the upright posture of bitterns, it also reflects the community and local iwi identity and recalls a Polynesian tradition associated with Tawhaki, who is said to have ascended to the heavens in the pursuit of knowledge – very appropriate for a library!
Ōrauwhata: Bishopdale Library and Community Centre means “the place of the multitude of eels” and recalls the area before it was planted and developed by the Bishop family in the 19th century. At this time whata (eels) swam in overflow water basins formed during flooding from the Waimairi River.
Curious about your local library’s Māori name? You can find our all about it on our Māori Library Names page (and listen to sound files of the pronunciations too). While you’re exploring, why not check out our Te Wiki o te Reo Māori page too? Or view the video below showing some Māori place names in and around Ōtautahi.
Sleeps Standing / Moetū tells the story of the last battle of the Waikato Wars; the Battle of Ōrākau, 30 March to 2 April 1864. Most New Zealanders know this story as Rewi’s Last Stand, immortalised in two films in the early twentieth century, and the later novel by A.W.Reed.
At Orākau on the banks of the Pūniu River in the Waikato, 300 Māori, defended the pa – an agreed place of safety – against 1700 armed British Soldiers, commanded by Lieutenant-General Duncan Cameron.
A third of the defenders were women and children.
They came from the allied tribes of Waikato, Raukawa, Tuhoe, Taranaki, Kahungunu, and Ngati Porou to aid Ngāti Maniapoto, the Tangata Whenua (people of the land). They were led by the great nationalist leader Rewi Manga Maniapoto.
Acknowledging with respect the primary right of Maniapoto to tell this history, a fact that has often been been “trampled all over by historians” (p.87), Witi tells the tale from the point of view of an ancestor of his own Gisborne iwi of Rongowhakaata.
Descended from the great Chief Ruharuhi Rukupō, Moetū whakaaraara (the one who sleeps standing and sounds the alarm), came with other iwi to aid Ngāti Maniapoto against the British.
Many allies were prevented from gaining the pa by the British. The remaining 300 were cut off from water, food and ammunition while facing formidable odds – the British had big guns, they had peach stones and taiaha.
The philosophy of the allied Maori defenders was that if they were to die, it would be in battle. “It came as a forlorn hope with us; no one expected to escape, nor did we desire to; were we not all the children of one parent? Therefore, we all wished to die together.” Hiti Te Paerata, Ngati Te Koihera. p.12).
They lived and died by the warrior’s code; defending the land for future generations:
“Me mate te tangata, me mate mō te whenua.
The warrior’s death is to die for the land.” p.13.
Many question the presence of women and children. The character of Rua Papa explains this on p.87. Rangitira (or royal) families ‘travelled together, a sovereign with his court, wife or hoa rangatira and children. If there was a battle, the rangitira families would always be in it, leading from the front. You never saw them sitting on their horses watching from a nearby hillside.” (p.87)
Governor Grey promoted his war as ‘defensive,” persuading Aucklanders to fear invasion and brutal murder.
The truth was the reverse. A prayer book found recently and traced back to Ruapekapeka Marae suggests that during the attack on this pa, the inhabitants had been at Sunday prayer.
As a nation, we have set a date to commemorate the New Zealand Land Wars, beginning 28 October 2017. This decision came directly from submissions to the government about the Battle of Ōrākau. This book acknowledges this decision.
A celebration of the bravery and tenacity of Maori, this wonderful book collects haka, waiata, personal accounts, photographs and maps, as well as Witi’s novella. The story is written in Te Reo Māori on the left page and English on the right, enabling the reader to choose to learn from the translated text.
30 years ago, on the 1st August 1987, the New Zealand Government passed the Māori Language Act 1987 making Te Reo Māori an official language of New Zealand. While this should be celebrated, it is worth noting that it took 127 years for the indigenous language of this Country to be formally recognised by the Crown.
I had initially planned in this blog to recount the various ways that the speaking of te Reo Māori was suppressed over those 127 years. I was going to outline the various Crown policies and laws that were implemented to ensure that the language was suppressed and literally ‘beaten’ out of Māori. Laws such as Native Schools Act 1867 that enforced the non-speaking of te Reo Māori in public spaces, in particularly schools.
I had intended to remind people that “It takes one generation to lose a language and at least three to restore it”. Thus given my previous statement it is no wonder that te Reo Māori was in a complete state of decline by the late 20th century, beginning the proactive movement to rejuvenate and revitalise te Reo Māori within all aspects of our lives.
But that all changed on Saturday morning while watching a video post from a prominent te Reo Māori tutor. He, along with his whānau, was abused in their local supermarket in their hometown for speaking Māori to each other. The tutor and his partner had made the decision to raise their children in te Reo Māori. Therefore, by their own choice, they speak Māori to their children and around their children wherever they are.
Imagine while talking among themselves, their shock being confronted by an irate woman telling them in a loud aggressive voice “this is New Zealand, we speak English here not that gibberish!” Aware of their children, they thanked the woman for her opinion and continued on with their shopping. A few minutes later, while the son was speaking to his mother in te Reo Māori, the woman started to mock the boy, telling him to speak English, the real language of this country. Naturally the parents interjected, politely rose above it, collected their children and shopping and left.
Naturally I was angry and sickened that someone would do this to a child. But more importantly, I was sad and disappointed that in this day and age there are still people with these antiquated views. We might be an educated and progressive society, but for some people it’s still 1867.
But don’t be disheartened. When we measure the tangible achievements of the last 30 years, we clearly see how far the revitalisation of te Reo Māori has come. How well this rejuvenation has worked:
Te Reo Māori, the indigenous language of New Zealand, is recognised as an official language of New Zealand and with this the right to speak it anywhere and at anytime;
Kōhanga Reo and Māori Early Childhood Centres;
Kura Kaupapa, Kaupapa Māori special character schools, bilingual units;
Ah yes we have come a long way in 30 years, we do have much to celebrate. But imagine how much more we could have achieved if we, as a nation, had embraced te Reo Māori 127 years ago. All New Zealanders would be bilingual for starters. There would be no need to repair 127 years of attempted cultural and language genocide. All New Zealanders would know the true history of their country. We would perform (properly) more than one haka for all occasions – and understand them. We would all sing both versions of the National anthem. These are just some of the things WE could have done. But we didn’t do that and now we are where we are.
Sadly haters are always going to hate. What happened to that young Māori whānau the other Friday night vocalised thoughts born of ignorance and fear of the unknown. This an evolution people, not a revolution. Yes this might be New Zealand and we might speak English here, but the indigenous language is Māori. A language I, like that young whānau, are proud to reclaim as our birthright. Learn it, live it, love it!
So, 30 years on how far has the revitalisation of te Reo Māori come I ask? Well, a lot further than some expected, but considering that incident in a large supermarket in Hastings, perhaps not as far as most of us would have hoped.
“My great grandfather and his wife arrived in New Zealand November 1859 on the Zealandia. Parents told me John Hepworth did a good deed for a Māori chief and was presented with a Huia feather. The feather was in the possession of my father’s older brother .. in about 1940 … [but] the … family can no longer find the feather. I believe but am unable to confirm that the European man with the hat on in the photo is my G[reat] Grandfather.” – John Hepworth, Christchurch, 2010.
Date unknown but probably late nineteenth century.
Kete Christchurch is a collection of photographs and stories about Christchurch and Canterbury, past and present. Anyone can join and contribute.