Matariki ahunga nui – Matariki, provider of plentiful food
As the month of June rolls upon us, marking the end of the traditional harvesting time, we pause for reflection as the constellation of Matariki will soon reappear in the sky to mark the start of the Māori New Year – a time for remembering the past, reflecting on the present, and gathering hopes for new beginnings. At Wellington Central Library we have organised the following free events and promotions to mark and celebrate Matariki.
- Emerging Winter Food Traditions
Our first event is about food preservation and fermentation which fits so well with Matariki as the time following harvest.
- An introduction to whakapapa research resources
The next event is a look at resources for researching whakapapa and some examples of how these resources can be used, this again fits with the ideas of whānau coming together at Matariki.
- He Taonga te Reo – What’s in a name?
A presentation on the intricacies of naming places in today’s democratic society : he kōrero by Neavin Broughton
In the lead up to Matariki we will also be running our twitter word play promotion “Matariki Mash” from 11 June where we invite you to play along by creating a story that uses the four selected Māori words for the day (don’t forget the hashtag #matarikimash).
Here are some more details about these events.
Monday 18 June
Central Library – Ground Floor, 12.30 pm
Emerging winter food traditions
For this korero we have invited Kelda Hains and Lois Daish who will engage in a structured conversation on themes that include the popular and trending topics of preservation and fermentation.
Lois Daish is a well-known local writer of cook books and you can read about her influence on the Wellington hospitality scene here and her appointment to Life Membership of New Zealand Guild of Food Writers here and in a food blog here.
Many of us carry a memory of her food column published by the New Zealand Listener and I’m sure there are many of us who have collected these recipes into folders and books that are now sitting alongside the cookbook collection at home. Luckily many of these recipes have also been gathered together in her cook book A Good Year – available at Wellington City Libraries and spanning her 23 years with the Listener.
When Lois was presented her life membership award Lauraine Jacobs, described her as someone who “has always cooked and written with sincerity and simplicity and empowered people to cook well every day.”
Lois was also a hands-on restauranter, with cafes at venues in Wellington from 1980s onwards. It was Lois who first gave our other presenter Kelda Hains her first opportunity to work in a restaurant, in her Brooklyn Bar and Grill in the 1990s. Since then, Kelda, in partnership with two others has spent 20 years at the Nikau Café, where she has honed her culinary skills and developed a deep fundamental belief in supporting local growers and their fresh produce to form a basic and essential basis for all her cooking. Her book Nikau Café is also available at Wellington City Libraries.
Kelda and her business partners have expanded their business interest to a new café in Aro Street called Rita where the kaupapa of fresh produce is embodied in her set menu dining. Through her experiments with traditional bottling/preserving she has evolved a passion for preserving by fermentation: beginning with sauerkraut and expanding to kohlrabi, celeriac, Korean kimchi, chick peas and koji rice. While this topic is a little fearsome for some of us, during this presentation Kelda will demonstrate her fascination with this process and you can read more about her love of these processes here.
Tuesday 19 June
Central Library – Second Floor, 12.30 pm
An introduction to whakapapa research resources
Library staff will demonstrate the world of online and published resources that are available for whakapapa research at your public library.
Nau mai, haere mai. Come, sample our Land Court Minute Book indexes and bound minute book volumes (Wellington, 20 volumes, or microfilms covering a wider geographic area), our in-house database of Māori births, deaths (1913-1961) and marriages (1911-1952), and hidden treasures through online access to NLNZ’s PapersPast, Te Ao Hou, AtoJsonline, Donald McLean letters, Maorilandonline, and many other sources.
Friday 22 June
Central Library – CYA area, 12.30 pm
What’s in a name?
Neavin Broughton will discuss processes and meanings behind the selection of Te Reo Māori names for Civic Square, a sea walkway, the city wards, and other prominent features of the city.
It is exciting to peel back the layers of history of places and objects that our eyes flick over ever so casually, without our stopping to ask: the ‘what’ or the‘why’ -of the stories behind those names.
Saturday 23 June
Central Library – 2-3 pm
Performance and Interactive Family Singing with The Manawa Ora Children Community Choir
The Manawa Ora Children Community Choir is a group of young singers that gathers weekly to learn music from around the world. In this ensemble, children are accepted, celebrated and empowered, as they learn to sing in parts and in different languages. They then share their love of music with the broader Wellington community by singing at rest homes and community events. Join the choir and director, Lala Simpson, on Saturday, June 23rd from 2 – 3 PM for an interactive performance and workshop at the Wellington Central Library! Children, parents, and grandparents are all welcome!
Starting Monday 11 June
Twitter wordplay with #MatarikiMash
We invite you to test your imagination and your skill with language and help us celebrate Matariki! Inspired by the New Zealand Book Council’s #ramereshorts weekly Twitter competitions, we’ll be running a special word challenge for 4 weeks as part of the Matariki celebrations.
How does Matariki Mash work? We’ll post up four te reo Māori kupu each Monday and Wednesday morning on Twitter (you can follow us at @wcl_library) and all you need to do is bring your word play skills and include them in a tweet short story, together with the #MatarikiMash hashtag.
Many thanks go to the New Zealand Book Council, for letting us borrow their idea.