Aotearoa New Zealand, 18 September 2020

Kotahi Rau Pukapuka i te Reo Rangatira

100 Books in te Reo


“Te kākahu korowai o te rangatira,

he kōrero ”

“The emblem of an insightful leader is the cloak they wear, each feather symbolising the beauty, elegance and power of words”

Te Reo goes global in a new publishing initiative established by the Kotahi Rau Pukapuka Trust to publish 100 titles in te reo. Maya Angelou, Paulo Coelho, Doctor Seuss, Paula Morris and Ernest Hemingway are in the initial list.


Here are four covers from the eleven te reo editions of books currently in production. The Trust is working in collaboration with Auckland University Press. The titles are selected from young adult fiction, adult fiction and nonfiction, from Aotearoa and abroad. Some books will feature tribal and biographical works that highlight the taonga (treasures) of the past; a biography of Princess Te Puea is currently in preparation. New works written by te reo experts such as Tā Tīmoti Kāretu will ensure the constant replenishment of te reo wisdom and thought. The books will feature high quality translations from a team coordinated by Board member Pānia Papa. All cover illustrations are by Māori artists. The Trust is chaired by Michael Dreaver with other members Miriama Kamo, Jason Witehira and Dr Karena Kelly. Patron is Witi Ihimaera. Jamie Te Huia Cowell manages the office for the Trust.


Teaching Our Tamariki

Conversations at The Sapling

The Sapling is a children’s book website dedicated to highlighting the best children’s books and creators from Aotearoa and abroad, through a range of interviews, reviews and essays. Since its foundation in 2017, Te Wiki o te reo Māori has been a pinnacle of the year, focussed on extraordinary Māori children’s book creators.

This year’s week was curated by Briar Lawry, and features Te Papa Tupu graduate J.C. Hart interviewing her 2018 mentorship groupmate Shilo Kino for her new book The Pōrangi Boy, and University of Waikato academic Nicola Daly explaining why we need more bilingual picture books. We also run regular bilingual reviews of te reo Māori publications, and bilingual essays, such as that by T.K. Roxborogh about her new junior fiction novel Charlie Tangaroa and the Creature from the Sea, translated into te reo Māori. 


Tania Roxborogh and one-legged Charlie

Introducing an interview in English and te reo Māori at The Sapling:

For the past decade, I’ve been learning te reo Māori. Before I went into my first lecture, I thought I knew a lot: I grew up in Northland, I was Māori. After one week, I realised I didn’t know squat. But I knew I wanted to know and that I wanted my students to know too. Why? Because of the stories. Because of the language. An official language dammit. Our kōrero, the codes and conventions of how we communicate them, the imagery tied to land and sea, anchor us, anchor our children to their world… read more here

I roto i ēnei tau tekau, e ako ana au i te reo Māori. I mua i taku taenga ki te akoranga reo tuatahi, pēnei au he nui ōku mātauranga: i tipu ake au i Te Tai Tokerau, he Māori hoki au. Whai ake i te wiki tuatahi, kua mārama ki a au kāore au e mōhio ana ki te paku aha. Engari, i hiahia au ki te mōhio, i hiahia au kia mōhio ai aku ākonga anō hoki. He aha ai? Nā ngā pakiwaitara. Nā te reo. He reo whaimana e ai ki te ture, pai kare! Ko ā tātou nei kōrero, me ngā whakatakotoranga maha hei whakakākahu i ngā kōrero, me ngā tohu o te whenua me te moana, ko ēnei mea katoa e hono ai ā tātou mokopuna ki te ao… more here!

About the book

On a beach clean-up, thirteen-year-old one-legged Charlie and his half-brother, Robbie, find a ponaturi – a mermaid – washed up on a beach. An ancient grudge between the Māori gods Tane and Tangaroa has flared up because a port being built in the bay is degrading the ocean and creatures are fleeing the sea. This has reignited anger between the gods, which breaks out in storms, earthquakes and huge seas. The human world and realm of the gods are thrown into chaos. The ponaturi believes Charlie is the only one who can stop the destruction because his stump is a sign that he straddles both worlds. So begins Charlie’s journey to find a way to reunite the gods, realise the power in the ancient songs his grandfather taught him, and discover why he was the one for the task.

This book is forthcoming next week from Huia Press


First Thousand Words in Māori 

And earlier this year, Huia Press released The First Thousand Words in Māori. From the publisher’s site: The Taranaki language edition of the popular book that is bursting with vivid, entertaining illustrations by Stephen Cartwright that will attract even beginner adult learners.

The book includes verbs, adjectives, opposites, numbers, colours, shapes and many other vocabulary themes. A complete bilingual index of the vocabulary, with a pronunciation guide, is included in the last pages.


Welcome to The Taumata Kōrero – the quintessential space to disseminate a little bit of esoteric knowledge – with a twist. Exclusively dedicated to conversation that will inform, reform, question, challenge, debate, investigate, analyse, deconstruct and then reconstruct how we see ourselves as Māori – this is the wānanga at its finest. Join University of Auckland Māori language lecturer and former award-winning Māori journalist, Raniera Harrison (Te Aupōuri, Ngāti Porou) as he critically analyses some of the most pertinent topics in the Māori world today. Long Live The Wānanga.

Watch the conversation here: Kura Kids

And here’s Anika Moa reading a new book to her wee one. See the video here.  From Anika’s post: ‘Te Wiki o te Reo Māori is here and we as a whānau love to read pukapuka. We are reading Te Taonga nei te Kūmara (The Gift of Kūmara) to tautoko the seasons, encourage growing fresh produce and to feed our tinana kai hauora! (good food). This is a new Te Reo Māori book by The 5+ A Day Charitable Trust & Hapai Te Hauora – Maori Public Health.’


Te Reo Rangatira  

E nga rangatira ma, nga iwi o te Ao, Wellington City Council, which runs the capital city, are an example of one of the city governments throughout Aotearoa New Zealand with a programme of events supporting Te Wiki O Te Reo Māori. Here’s a video the Council made in 2019 which proved so popular that it was reissued for this year’s 2020 celebrations along with other, newer, material. Our thanks to Nicky Karu, Wellington City Council, for permission to show on our international online platform.

Kia kaha Te Reo Māori. Let’s Make the Language Strong.

And all over Aotearoa, te reo Māori was celebrated this week, starting with Māori Language Moment on Monday at noon: by the afternoon of Monday, 14 Sept, 1,023,751 people had recorded a Maōri Language Moment (more here). There were POP plinths in Auckland  and Christchurch Libraries Māori Language Week and this conversation in Dunedin’s city library: Kei hea ngā kōpae ataata?  

For more about the history of Māori Language Week, see here.  


Lost For Words

by Cameron Taylor 


I desire to kōrero in the language of my tīpuna

Express my mahamaha through the reo

My koro was punished for

Stopping him from teaching it to his tamariki

Reo my māmā never learnt

I never learnt

Not speaking my own language

Builds the highest barrier between

Who I am and who I want to be.

White girl in a Māori world

Doesn’t hold the knowledge

Looks different

Still I strive to learn the reo

My skills are strengthened

The barrier destroyed

Not until

The walls are gone

And I feel accepted




The above poem was posted at Awa Wahine. There you’ll also find an article by the magazine’s editor Ataria Sharman, who examines reasons why she didn’t grow up speaking te reo. She writes:

I think this fear of speaking te reo originates from a thought or feeling that if I can’t speak fluent te reo then I must not ‘be Māori enough.’ I’ve had experiences throughout my life where I’ve felt judged by non-Māori and Māori alike for not being ‘good enough’ at speaking te reo (which my brain automatically translates to ‘not Māori enough’). For those who don’t know or can’t understand why some Māori are still on their reo learning journey then here are five reasons why I didn’t grow up speaking te reo Māori.

from ‘5 Reasons Why I’m Not Fluent in te reo Māori‘, here.  

Ataria Rangipikitia, the creator of Awa Wahine works with wāhine who are ready to start their own businesses and creatives who need accountability to get to the next level. She serves as a sounding board and guide and as an entrepreneur herself, understands the unique challenges and rewards of the creative and start-up life. She is always interested in hearing from wāhine who are ready to invest in support to express the full range of their professional and creative gifts.     


ngākau pōuri o te huaketo 

by Vaughan Rapatahana

(mō tāku tama)


kāore āku mea nui hei tāpiri.


he kaipatu te huaketo.

i roto i ngā āhuatanga nui atu i te kotahi.

ko ngā tohutohu anake ka taea e au te tuari



me awhi tātau tētahi ki tētahi

pēnei kāore he āpōpō.


nā te mea ka ngaro tētahi puiaki

me te kore e tohatoha i tō aroha,

he kino ake i te mate ake.



the virus blues

(for my son)


I do not have much to add.


the virus is a killer.

in more ways than one.

the only advice that I can share

                                        is this:

we have to cherish one another

like there is no tomorrow.


because losing a precious one

without sharing your love

is worse than the death


Vaughan Rapatahana is a Contributing Editor for Love in the Time of COVID: A Chonicle of a Pandemic