Composed and recorded by Ben Ngaia, He Karakia mō Matariki is a gift from Te Wharewaka o Pōneke to Te Whanganui a Tara (Wellington). Our thanks to WellingtonNZ who have supported this kaupapa.
Tēnā koutou katoa, e te whānau! Matariki is a time for recollection and remembering, as well as hope for the new year. In this post, Ann Reweti, our Māori Customer Specialist, brings together a range of resources that outline the history of place names here in Te Whanganui-a-Tara and farther afield.
“The adage ‘to name is to claim’ has been central to discovery and exploration since time immemorial – Māori call it tapa whenua, whakaingoa whenua or whakahau whenua
Naming places involved a number of customs, including:
- transplanting Polynesian ancestral names and symbolism to New Zealand places
- taunaha (naming after body parts) to emphasise personal claims to land
- naming places according to their features
- naming places after people
- naming for historical or spiritual reasons
- naming to celebrate cultural icons.”
Ngā Ingoa Peka Māori: Our Māori Branch Names
Our whare pukapuka each have a Māori name. The stories of these names, and the places they relate to can be found on our branch names page.
“Taunaha Whenua: Naming the Land”
This Matariki, Wellington City Libraries were proud to tautoko a kōrero by Honiana Love, Tumu Whakarae of Ngā Taonga, called “Taunaha Whenua: Naming the Land”. Honiana spoke about history of place names used by mana whenua in this rohe, packing out the National Library Auditorium.
“Memorials, Names and Ethical Remembering”
The day before, the National Library also held their first Public History talk for the year, “Memorials, Names and Ethical Remembering”, with Morrie Love, Nicky Karu and Ewan Morris.
We’re glad to be able to share links to recordings of both those kōrero.
Illustrated Maori place names / Reed, A. W.
“Many Maori place names date back to the very earliest days of habitation in Aotearoa New Zealand. Some, in fact, originated in the Hawaiki homeland and were adapted to the new land. Whatever their origin, most reflect the Maori’s closeness to the forces of nature and incorporate common words for everyday things. Lavishly illustrated, this dictionary explains and interprets over 1500 place names as well as providing a guide to pronunciation.” (Catalogue)
Making our place : exploring land-use tensions in Aotearoa New Zealand
“Fascination with the interplay of people and place inspired the editors to bring together New Zealanders from different backgrounds and disciplines to explore some of the stories and sites of conflict and change to be found amongst our sacred, historic, rural, urban and coastal landscapes.” (Catalogue)
Exploring Aotearoa : short walks to reveal the Māori landscape / Janssen, Peter
“Take a short walk with this book and see the Maori landscape through fresh eyes. Maori culture has close ties with the landscape, in pa and early battle sites, and in myths and legends. From north to south, nearly 200 of the most accessible and memorable landmarks can be visited including volcanic summits, headlands, lakes and islands as well as pa sites urupa (graveyards), and hunting and fishing grounds.” (Catalogue)
Boundary markers : land surveying and the colonisation of New Zealand / Byrnes, Giselle
“In a country where land disputes were the chief cause of conflict between the coloniser and the colonised, surveying could never be a neutral, depoliticised pastime. In a groundbreaking piece of scholarship, Giselle Byrnes examines the way surveyors became figuratively and literally ‘the cutting edge of colonisation’. Clearing New Zealand’s vast forests, laying out town plans and deciding on place names, they were at every moment asserting British power. Boundary Markers also shows how the surveyors’ ‘commercial gaze’, a view of the countryside coloured by the desire for profit, put them at odds with the Māori view of land.” (Publisher’s Description).
The Great Harbour of Tara, by G. L. Adkin.
This work details the traditional Māori place-names and sites of Wellington. It is available in full through Wellington City Libraries’ Recollect site.
Te Ara o nga Tupuna: The path of our ancestors.
“Te Ara o nga Tupuna: The path of our ancestors” is a trail around Te Whanganui-a-Tara which takes in many traditional sites. The trail description on our website contains many kōrero about these places, and the history of their names.
Nga Tupuna o Te Whanganui-a-Tara (Vol. 1).
The Nga Tupuna project was initiated by Wellington City Libraries working in collaboration with the Wellington Tenth’s Trust. While the history of Maori ownership of land around the Wellington area was being researched as part of various Treaty of Waitangi claims, it was felt that not enough emphasis was being given to the biographies of the individuals being named in those claims. This document is the first of four volumes of collected biographies. (WCL Recollect).
He Korero Purakau mo nga taunahanahatanga a nga tupuna: Place names of the ancestors, a Māori oral history atlas.
This title collects oral histories of place names from around Aotearoa, and is available as a digital resource, from LINZ, as well as in our library collection.
The Pukeahu Anthology.
“Pukeahu: An Exploratory Anthology” is a place-based anthology of waiata, poems, essays, and fiction about Pukeahu / Mt Cook, a small hill in Wellington, Aotearoa-New Zealand that rises between two streams.
Kā Huru Manu : the Ngāi Tahu cultural mapping project.
Kā Huru Manu is dedicated to recording and mapping the traditional Māori place names and associated histories in the Kāi Tahu rohe.
To learn more about place names, or any other of ngā mea Māori, you can email Ann Reweti here.
Nau mai, haere mai to ‘He Timotimo’, Wellington City Libraries’ new te reo Māori taster sessions!
We know it can be scary to start learning a new language and that te reo Māori classes fill up quickly in Wellington so we are pleased to announce that we have free, friendly classes Tuesday lunchtimes that are available for bookings now.
These are introductory classes for beginners and will have a new topic each week as a taster, he timotimo, to get you started. The sessions will be fun and you will be supported as you learn the basics with our specially designed programme developed by Neavin Broughton and taught in association with Te Reihine Roberts-Thompson.
Tuesdays 12:15 – 1:15pm.
He Matapihi Molesworth Library
National Library of New Zealand
70 Molesworth Street
These taster sessions are suitable for absolute beginners and we are now taking bookings. Each class will feature a new topic. Bookings will be essential for each date as numbers are limited. As each week is booked separately you don’t need to worry if you have to miss a week.
The classes are informal and you will not need textbooks or other materials, you might just want to bring a notebook and pen to take some notes.
How to Book?
Tēnā koutou katoa e te whānau! Nau mai, haere mai ki te whakarongo ki tēnei kōrero. This matariki, we are proud to present a kōrero from Honiana Love about the significance of place names around Pōneke.
Matariki is a powerful time of reflection, and there’s no better time than now to learn more about the history of Aotearoa.
Ngā Taonga, The National Library and Wellington City Libraries are proud to present Honiana Love’s kōrero “Taunaha Whēnua: Naming the Land”, at the National Library, on 16 July at 1230pm.
Honiana is Tumu Whakarae / Chief Executive of Ngā Taonga, and she will be discussing how names like Owhiro, Pipitea and Kaitoa have much to tell us about the gardens, swamps and food-gathering areas which have stood where we stand today.
This event is a free presentation of Ngā Taonga, The National Library of New Zealand and Wellington City Libraries. All are welcome, and the event will be recorded and shared at a later date.
“Taunaha Whēnua: Naming the Land” is part of Wellington City Libraries’ #purapurawhetu Matariki festival. You can learn more here about our other events, for tamariki and their whānau, these school holidays.
The Māori New Year is now upon us – and although the rain is pouring and the tornadoes are twisting and turning, there is still a time for rest after the harvesting of the crops, physical or otherwise; a time for reflecting on our tūpuna who have passed on; a time to reflect on the effects of Covid-19; and a time to rejoice in precious taonga – be they whānau or otherwise, or just plan for a better life ahead.
There are many tohu, or signs, that mark the coming of the new year. Māori of the West Coast of New Zealand aren’t able to view the rising of Matariki, low down on the eastern horizon at this time of the year. So we, in Taranaki and Wellington, turn to Puanga (Rigel, of Orion’s constellation), to mark the Māori New Year. But it is to Matariki that most people look, and although Matariki is a cluster of many stars, we commonly talk about it in terms of the worldwide star story of the Seven Sisters.
Even today, more is being learnt about Matariki. Recently, Dr. Rangi Mātāmua rediscovered a manuscript of his tupuna’s which added two extra stars, Pōhutukawa and Hiwaiterangi, to the kāhui whetū– making up a cluster of nine stars of Matariki. You can learn more about Dr. Mātāmua’s work here. If you’re looking for more information, you can also start with Qiane Matata-Sipu’s Spinoff piece from last year, which has wonderful background on ngā whetū, as well as the kaupapa of the new year around the motu.
Our eLibrary collection includes a wide range of resources about Matariki, Te Ao Māori and the history of Aotearoa. To celebrate Matariki, we have collated a list of these titles, called “He Matatiki: Matariki Reads from Te Ao Māori”. Make sure to have a look through all the treasures in this kete! You can also find more information about Te Ao Māori, whakapapa research and the history of Te Whanganui a Tara in the Māori Resources section of our website.
Throughout these school holidays, we are presenting a range of Matariki activities for tamariki and whānau, as part of our #purapurawhetu Matariki festival. These range from crafting to storytimes, and include activities in both Te Reo Māori and English. You can learn more about our #purapurawhetu programme here. Check our calendar for all the events.
Nō reira, nau mai haere mai ki ōu tātou whare pukapuka ki te whakanui i a Matariki! Come along and celebrate Matariki with Wellington City Libraries!
Me mihi ka tika mātou ki a Ann, i tuku āwhina i ēnei mahi. Thanks and mihi to Ann for her help in putting together these resources!
As the world becomes increasingly galvinised by the Black Lives Matter and Anti-Racist movements we must remember that New Zealand is not immune to racism. Our history of colonisation and immigration has given us our own struggles that need to be understood and overcome. The books listed below offer a starting point for understanding racial politics in New Zealand from a Māori perspective.
Hīkoi: forty years of Māori protest / Harris, Aroha
Hīkoi provides an overview of the contemporary Māori protest movement, a summary of the rationale behind the actions, and photographs of protests, marches, and the mahi behind the scenes. Results of protest are also discussed including the Waitangi Tribunal; Māori becoming an official language; Māori-medium education; and Māori television.
What is decolonisation and why do we need it in New Zealand? This book discusses why it is needed if we are going to build a country that is fair and equal for all who live here, as well as what it could look and feel like.
Ka whawhai tonu mātou: Struggle without end / Walker, Ranginui
A revised edition of this best-selling history of New Zealand from a Māori perspective. Dr Walker discusses the fact that Māori have been involved in an endless struggle for justice, equality and self-determination for the last two centuries. A challenging must-read for all New Zealanders.
Decolonizing methodologies: research and indigenous peoples / Smith, Linda Tuhiwai
This is a revised and updated edition of a landmark work. It explores how imperialism and research interact and how this has had an impact on ‘knowledge’ and ‘tradition’. Social justice and concepts such as ‘discovery’ and ‘claiming’ are discussed and it is argued that it is necessary to decolonise research methods in order to reclaim control over indigenous ways of knowing and being.
Journey towards justice / Workman, Kim
Kim Workman is a central figure in the ongoing discussion of justice and prison policy in New Zealand. This is a powerful first-hand account of struggle, spirituality and questions of cultural identity as well as the state and social forces that have helped shape contemporary New Zealand.
Colonising myths–Māori realities: he rukuruku whakaaro / Mikaere, Annabel
A collection of a series of papers that reflects on the effect of Pākehā law, legal processes, and teaching on Māori legal thought and practice.
Bridget William Book Treaty of Waitangi Collection
This amazing collection of ebooks is available on our Wellington City Libraries Online Resources page. You will need your library card and pin number to access these full-text scholarly works.
Bridget Williams Books The NZ History Collection
Provides online access to over thirty years of award-winning history and biography publishing from Bridget Williams Books – includes over 90 New Zealand history titles. You will need your library card and pin number to access these full-text scholarly works.
Te Tiriti Based Futures And Anti-racism 2020
An online conference, 21-30 March, 2020. Includes Jen Margaret and Julia Whaipooti.
You can also learn about how other ethnic groups have experienced racism in Aotearoa through the resources below:
Polynesian Panthers : Pacific protest and affirmative action in Aotearoa New Zealand 1971-1981
The Polynesian Panthers sought to raise consciousness and take action in response to the racism and discrimination Pacific peoples faced in New Zealand in the 1970s and 1980s. Interviews, memoirs, poetry, newspaper articles, and critical analysis help create a thought-provoking account of this period in New Zealand history.
Old Asian, new Asian / Ng, K. Emma
Did you know that a 2010 Human Rights Commission report found that Asian people reported higher levels of discrimination than any other minority in New Zealand? This anecdotal account is based on Ng’s personal experience as a second-generation young Chinese-New Zealand woman and explores the persistence of racism against Asians in New Zealand.
Justice and race: campaigns against racism and abuse in Aotearoa New Zealand / Sutherland, O. R. W.
“This is the story of ACORD – the Auckland Committee on Racism And Discrimination. For 15 years ACORD exposed and campaigned against the institutional racism of police, justice and social welfare systems. It laid the groundwork for a national duty solicitor scheme and gained protections for children incarcerated by the state.” (From our catalogue)
Our Kanopy and Beamafilm streaming platforms have a great selection of FREE content from Aotearoa and the Pacific. It’s always good to see our own cultures represented on the screen, so while we are still spending a lot of time at home grab the opportunity to watch some gems that have a Māori and Pasifika kaupapa!
This blog only highlights a small selection of films including emotional movies, documentaries, and a feel good gem about musicians and finding yourself. You will find more if you search ‘Māori’, ‘New Zealand’, or a specific Pasifika country within Kanopy or Beamafilm.
Go ahead and immerse yourself in the stories of Aotearoa and the Pacific!
Length: 106 minutes
Director: Tusi Tamasese
The Orator is a beautiful and emotional movie that was written and directed by Samoan film-maker Tusi Tamasese and shot entirely in Samoan on location in Samoa itself. Saili’s story is one of love and challenges as he learns he must stand tall, despite his small stature, to become a hero. Highly recommended.
You can also watch Tamasese’s other feature film, One Thousand Ropes, on Kanopy.
Kuo Hina E Hiapo: The Mulberry is White and Ready for Harvest
Length: 28 minutes
Directors: Joseph Ostraff, Melinda Ostraff
Tapa cloth is a true artistic treasure of the Pacific. In Tonga it is called ngatu and this short documentary illustrates ngatu’s symbolic importance and collaborative production. Beautiful and fascinating!
Our Te Moana-Nui-A-Kiwi/Pasefika popular topic page provides links to all sorts of Pasefika books and online resources.
Length: 100 minutes
Director: Merata Mita
Merata Mita was the first Māori woman to write and direct a dramatic movie when she brought out Mauri in 1988. Set on the East Coast, Mauri stars Anzac Wallace (Utu) and activist Eva Rickard. This is a landmark film from a landmark Māori film maker.
You can also watch Ngati on Kanopy, another ground-breaking film from a Māori film maker, this time Barry Barclay.
Length: 86 minutes
Directors: Ainsley Gardiner, Awanui Simich-Pene, Briar Grace Smith, Casey Kaa, Chelsea Winstanley, Katie Wolfe, Paula Whetu Jones, Renae Maihi
Eight female Māori directors give us eight connected stories, each taking place at the same moment in time during the tangi of a small boy called Waru. This is a very moving and challenging film with all eight stories subtly linked while following different female characters. All must come to terms with Waru’s death and try to find a way forward within their community.
A tangi is at the heart of Waru. If you want to learn about Māori protocols surrounding tangi, or other Māori topics, our Māori Information Resources page is an excellent place to start.
The Rain of the Children
Length: 102 minutes
Director: Vincent Ward
I love this film. Vincent Ward’s beautiful dramatic documentary explores the life of Tuhoe woman Puhi and her relationship to Rua Kenana and the community at Maungapohatu. Ward looks at the curse Puhi believed she lived under in an incredibly moving way, and the result is a jewel of a film.
You can also watch Vincent Ward’s first film about Puhi, In Spring One Plants Alone, on Kanopy.
Length: 107 minutes
Director: Toa Fraser
Woo hoo! Revenge and action abound in Toa Fraser’s movie starring James Rolleston and Lawrence Makoare. You gotta love the use of mau rākau – a traditional Māori martial art – and a script in te reo Māori!
If you want to start learning te reo Māori our recent Resources to Learn Māori blog can help with all sorts of tips to get you started.
The Pa Boys
Length: 90 minutes
Director: Himiona Grace
My whānau love this heartfelt film about a musician and his reggae band on a road trip of music and self discovery. Francis Kora is wonderful as Danny who is unsettled, and then opened up to his culture, when Tau (Matariki Whatarau) joins the band. Music, landscape, laughs and love – beautiful and simple.
The band in The Pa Boys sets out from Wellington where Danny lives. If you love the music scene in Wellington you can learn more about it on our dedicated Wellington Music page.
Did you know that as well as being signed in Waitangi on 6 February 1840 the Treaty of Waitangi was also signed in other parts of Aotearoa throughout that year?
Ngā mihi ki a koutou katoa i tēnei wā COVID-19.
He pānui tēnei – ānei ngā rauemi ā-ipurangi mā koutou e kimi, mā koutou e tuku i ō koutou kāinga.
Usually our libraries commemorate the signing of Te Tiriti/Treaty of Waitangi in Te Whanganui-a-Tara/Wellington, 29 April 1840, through special events, displays, and the lending of relevant books or audio-visual material on the kaupapa of Te Tiriti.
Unfortunately our bricks and mortar libraries are currently closed due to the COVID-19 crisis. However our Māori Specialist Librarian, Ann Reweti, has put together a comprehensive selection of rauemi/resources about Te Tiriti and its signing in Te Whanganui-a-Tara in 1840. These can be accessed through our website or the internet and we are very pleased to provide online links in this special blog.
Lockdown is the perfect time to learn more about our local history and how modern day Wellington and New Zealand have been shaped by our unique past, and the relationships between mana whenua and the crown. Take some time to have a look at these wonderful resources – for a concise overview of history, places where treaty copies were signed, and lists of signatories to the treaties in each of eight locations – from the comfort of your own kāinga/home.
NZHistory.govt.nz – Treaty of Waitangi information includes the following topics: the Treaty in brief; English and te reo Māori texts; signings and locations of eight treaty documents; Tiriti timeline; biographies of Tiriti participants.
Te Ara – always presents a good New Zealand story for any discussion – and there are three video reconstructions around the the signing of Te Tiriti.
Bridget William Book Treaty of Waitangi Collection – This amazing collection of ebooks is available on our Wellington City Libraries ELibrary page. You will need your library card and pin number to access these full-text scholarly works.
NZETC (New Zealand Electronic Text Centre) – These links will take you to the full text versions of the following books:
- The Treaty of Waitangi: An Explanation
- Te Tiriti o Waitangi, he karo whakaora mo ngā tangata Māori he reo Māori me te reo Pākehā
- Māori and the State: Crown-Māori relations in New Zealand/Aotearoa, 1950-2000
Early newspaper articles weave some thoughts of Te Tiriti:
Papers Past – Access to New Zealand newspapers from 1843-1845.
Times Digital Archive (1785-1985) – Full text and searchable, every page of every issue. You will need your library card and pin number to access these.
Other useful resources, including videos:
Te Tiriti Based Futures And Anti-racism 2020 – An online conference, 21-30 March, 2020. Includes Jen Margaret and Julia Whaipooti.
There are also fantastic audio tapes available from RNZ:
And don’t forget, you can always see the Treaty itself in Wellington at the National Library of New Zealand.
As ANZAC Day 2020 approaches, it is timely to revisit the life of William Barnard Rhodes-Moorhouse (Ngāti Tama, Ngāti Ruanui) and honour not just his distinction as the first Māori airman, but also as the first British airman to receive the award of Victoria Cross for his bravery in World War I.
Born in 1887 in Britain, Rhodes-Moorhouse and his siblings did not learn of their Māori ancestry, through his mother Mary Ann Rhodes, until 1908. Sadly, William Barnard died on 27 April 1915 after receiving horrific injuries during a successful bombing mission. However, his wife Linda, and son William Henry, followed in his footsteps and both developed a passion for flying and gained their pilot licenses in 1931.
William Barnard’s son, William Henry, joined the 601 “Millionaires” Squadron at the outbreak of World War II and received a Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) in July 1940. Sadly, he died later that year after being shot down over the English town of Tunbridge Wells.
Learn more about William Barnard Rhodes-Moorhouse, and his brave and fascinating family, in the document below. You will also find links to further articles, a film, and a documentary.
Resources to learn the Māori Language
We have these two amazing books in our catalogue that would be just perfect to get you started in learning te reo Māori but, before you race to the catalogue to download them and get started, I need to let you know that just one of them is available as an ebook, the link is below.
The amazing author, Hēmi Kelly, wanted to help everyone out and he has started a Facebook group called “A Māori Phrase a Day”. He has selected phrases from the book that everyone can learn as a helpful resource during the level 4 Rāhui (lockdown).
It’s a public group so just click here to go directly there. If you just want to watch the videos in order (as the feed is full of positive feedback and questions for Hēmi so may be hard to find), you can just click on the video tab to find all the videos together.
Now to his titles here on our catalogue:
A Māori phrase a day : 365 phrases to kickstart your reo / Kelly, Hēmi
Also available as an ebook now, check it on Overdrive.
“A Maori Phrase a Day offers a simple, fun and practical entry into the Maori language. Through its 365 Maori phrases, you will learn the following: Everyday uses English translations Factoids and memory device Handy word lists Presenting the most common, relevant and useful phrases today, A Maori Phrase a Day is the perfect way to kickstart your te reo journey!” (Catalogue)
A Māori word a day : 365 words to kickstart your reo / Kelly, Hēmi
“A Maori Word a Day offers an easy, instant and motivating entry into the Maori language. Through its 365 Maori words, you will learn the following
– English translations
– Word category, notes and background information
– Sample sentences, in both te reo Maori and English
Exploring the most common, modern and contemporary words in use today, A Maori Word a Day is the perfect way to kickstart your te reo journey!” (Catalogue)
Okay so now you can go and put one of these titles on your reserve list and, just in case you hadn’t heard the good news, reserves are free and you can choose any of our library branches (once we reopen) to collect them from. Actually just before you do that, read on and check out a couple of apps I’ve listed below that you can use on your phone to learn Māori kupu as well.
Apps to learn Māori Language Vocabulary
Here are two apps, Tipu and Kupu that you can use on your phone to learn te reo Māori vocabulary. If you would like to make some labels to learn the words for everyday items around your house then I suggest you take a look at the app ‘Kupu’. It’s lots of fun taking photos and learning the te reo Māori translations of many of the objects in your own home bubble.
Tipu will help you to learn Te Reo Māori quickly!
Koi is your teacher and she has an innovative Personalised Progression Memory which allows her to remember what words and phrases you know and which ones you need a little extra testing on. This ensures that you are learning as quickly as possible.
Download Tipu here
Kupu is really easy to use and of course, lots of Wellingtonians will need the kupu for coffee! Simply take a picture and Kupu will then use image recognition to identify what the object is in the picture and provide Te Reo Māori translations for the object(s).
Perfect to label things in your bubble!
Download Kupu here
You might be surprised to discover you already know quite a few of the kupu when you start watching the Facebook videos or using these apps. Philip Matthews in a Stuff article published on the 8th Sept 2018 titled ‘The borrowers: Why you are speaking more Māori than you think’ says that;
There will be around seven Māori words in every 1000 words of New Zealand English, including the names of places and people. That may not sound like a lot, but it is relatively high and it makes New Zealand unique among post-settler societies, historians say. You do not see similar borrowing at work in Australia and North America.
So you may know more than you think! If learning te reo Māori is one of your lockdown goals and a way to make the most of some the free time you might have during the lockdown period or you could use it as a break from work, if you are working from home, then give it a go! Or to say it in te reo Māori, karawhiua!
That’s all from me for now, so yes, you can go and put one of Hēmi’s titles on your reserve list now!