He Timotimo: Free Te Reo Māori Taster Sessions

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.

Book online

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?

Book online for each session. If you have any questions please Contact Us.

Matariki events for tamariki and their whānau

Tēnā koutou katoa! Join us in celebrating Matariki at Wellington City Libraries this winter! It’s a time of celebration and reflection, of whānau and of kōrerorero — and a time to cook and eat delicious kai! Whether you want to celebrate with others or just learn more about this wonderful festival, your library has you covered with books, resources and events for the whole family.

Many of our usual preschool storytime and Kōhunga Kōrero sessions this month will be Matariki-themed, but we’re also running special Matariki events with stories, songs and crafts for tamariki and their families at selected libraries:

Cummings Park (Ngaio) Library: Monday 18th June, 6:30pm
Ruth Gotlieb (Kilbirnie) Library: Wednesday 20th June, 4:00pm
Island Bay Community Centre: Thursday 21st June, 10:30am
Karori Library: Thursday 21st June, 6:30pm
Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library: Thursday 28th June, 3:30pm
Khandallah Library: Thursday 28th June, 6:30pm
Johnsonville Library: Friday 29th June, 3:30pm

These events are free, suitable for preschool and school-aged children and their families, and bookings are not required.

Storytimes for Waitangi Day


We have some great storytimes planned to celebrate Waitangi Day this year.

Apirana Taylor : Saturday 31 January 2014

Bring the kids along to a special story session session with renowned author, actor and storyteller, Apirana Taylor.  Known for his charismatic and engaging style, Apirana will tell traditional tales accented by taonga pūoru and whai (string games).

 Kōhunga Kōrero at Newtown and Central libraries : Tuesday 4 February and Saturday 7 February

Join in stories and song in Te Reo at our monthly Kōhunga Kōrero storytime at Newtown Library, 10.30 am, Tuesday 4 February, or our special Waitangi weekend edition at the Central Library, 10.30 am,  Saturday  7 February.


Māwhai Tuhituhi – online Te Reo writing competition for Te Wiki O Te Reo Māori

Hei whakanui i Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori 2014, kei te mahi pakiwaitara tuhituhi ā-ipurangi Te Matapihi ki te Ao Nui, ā, ka taea e koe e tō kura rānei ētahi taonga te wini.

Kua oti kē i te kaituhi rongonui haere nei a Paora Tibble te whiti tuatahi te tuhituhi, ā, māu e āpiti atu ō tuhituhi ki te pakiwaitara ia rā, hei te 21-25 o Hūrae.

Ka whiriwhirihia kotahi te whiti ia rā (tae atu ki te 200 kupu), mai i ia reanga, ka mutu hoki ngā pakiwaitara hei te ahiahi o te Paraire te 25 o Hūrae.

Ko ngā Reanga: (Kura) Tau 1-8, me te Tau 9-13

Ko ngā taonga ia rā he pēke whare pukapuka, he kāri koha, he haki pukapuka hoki.

Ko ngā taonga mā ngā toa tuhituhi kotahi paparorohiko mō ia reanga, ā, he haki e $250 hei hoko pukapuka mō ngā kura o ngā toa tuhituhi.

Ko te kura hoki he tokomaha rawa ana kaituhi ka wini hoki i te haki pukapuka e $250!

Kia whai wāhi koe ki te wini, tūhono mai ā-ipurangi ka tuhituhi mai rā: wcl.govt.nz/mawhaituhi


To celebrate Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori 2014, Wellington City Libraries are weaving an online story, with the chance for you and your school to win some cool prizes.

Well-known author, Paora Tibble, has written the first paragraph but we need you to continue the story each day, from 21-25 July.

A paragraph (up to 200 words) will be selected, daily, from each age group, and the stories will finish on Friday afternoon, 25 July.

Age Groups are: (School) Year 1-8, and Year 9-13

Daily prizes include library bags, concession cards and book vouchers.

The prizes for overall winners include a tablet for each age group winner, plus $250 of book vouchers for the winners’ schools.

The school with the most contributors will also win $250 of book vouchers!

For your chance to win, join us online and weave your story: wcl.govt.nz/mawhaituhi


Kōrero nehe: te Moana nui a Kiwa, ngā mihinare, pakanga

Histories of the Pacific Ocean, missionaries and the fight for land but the taonga amongst this selection is a beautifully illustrated text (Te Reo Māori) by Keri Kaa, pictures by Martin D. Page.

Syndetics book coverKeeping languages alive : documentation, pedagogy and revitalization / edited by Mari C. Jones and Sarah Ogilvie.
“Many of the world’s languages have diminishing numbers of speakers and are in danger of falling silent. Around the globe, a large body of linguists are collaborating with members of indigenous communities to keep these languages alive. Mindful that their work will be used by future speech communities to learn, teach and revitalise their languages, scholars face new challenges in the way they gather materials and in the way they present their findings. This volume discusses current efforts to record, collect and archive endangered languages in traditional and new media that will support future language learners and speakers. ” (Provided by publisher)

Syndetics book coverPacific histories : ocean, land, people / edited by David Armitage and Alison Bashford.
“The first comprehensive account to place the Pacific Islands, the Pacific Rim and the Pacific Ocean into the perspective of world history. A distinguished international team of historians provides a multidimensional account of the Pacific, its inhabitants and the lands within and around it over 50,000 years, with special attention to the peoples of Oceania. It providing chronological coverage along with analyses of themes such as the environment, migration and the economy; religion, law and science; race, gender and politics.” (Cover)

Syndetics book coverTaka ki rō wai : he kōrero pūrākau mō tētāhi hoiho / ko Keri Kaa, te kaituhi ; ko Martin D. Page, te kaitā pikitia, kaitātai pukapuka.
“A true story about the birth of a foal, set in the small rural community of Rangitukia, on the East Cape of the East Coast, in the North Island of Aotearoa/New Zealand. Reflecting rural Māori life, the story is an observation of the cooperation between animals, and contemplates the magical and the miracle in nature.” (Publisher’s information)

Between the kindling and the blaze : reflections on the concept of mana / Ben Brown.
[This] “is a bold exploration of the concept of mana.  In resonant poetry and short prose poetry, the author does not seek to define mana but rather reflect on its myriad nuances.  “The colour of mana is red they say, from warm sunset tones to bold vigorous and bloody shades of power and authority, the kaka feather, the dog-skin cloak,  the ochre of the earth.  But where is the white of  purity, the certainty of black, the humility of grey?  Colour then, will not suffice in the exploration of mana.  How can a humble man be proud?  Why is the mountain more than a mountain?  How does a river flow in my veins and where is the strenght in silence?  This book is not silent.  It cannot be…” (Back cover)

Te paruhi a ngā tākuta / Nigel Beckford and Mike Fitzsimons, interviews, writing, publishing.
“Tells the story of 27 Māori doctors and students. Some just starting their careers, others reflecting on decades of service, sacrifice and experience. Collectively, these stories span the history of Te Ohu Rata O Aotearoa – Māori Medical Practitioners Association (Te ORA) from trailblazing early Māori GPs to the latest generation of Māori health professionals and learners… Many of the people in this book have challenged New Zealand’s health system and influenced the provision of health services to Māori whānau and communities for the better.” (Back cover)

A desperate dawn : the battle for Turuturu Mokai 1868 / Nigel Ogle and Ron Crosby ; illustrations and photography, Nigel Ogle.
“In July 1868 South Taranaki chief Titokowaru indicated his toughening attitude toward European settlement in his territory by attacking the small military redoubt at Turuturu Mokai. That battle led to a campaign where Maori and Pakeha fought some of the most desperate and violent battles of the New Zealand wars. This book puts the battle into a social, political, technological and historical contecxt.” (Back cover)

Akoranga, huaranga, pakanga

Akoranga, huaranga, me te pakanga : ngā pukapuka hou

Syndetics book coverKia tangi te tītī : permission to speak : successful schooling for Māori students in the 21st century : issues, challenges and alternatives / edited by Paul Whitinui.
“This book brings together academic contributions from the fields of mātauranga, mātauranga hinengaro, whakaako hauora, akoranga takakau-ā-ora and others.”–back cover. Contributors include Joanna Kidman, Hana O’Regan, Tom Cavanagh, Anne-Marie Hunt, Angus MacFarlane, Tangiwai Rewi, Lesley Rameka, Wharehuia Hemara, Janie Tito, Paul Whitinui, Hector Kaiwai, Christine Rubie-Davies, Helen Timperley, Judy Parr, Gary Raumati-Hook, Lynne Parehaereone Raumati, Tania Ka’ai, Melinda Webber.

Syndetics book coverSmall holes in the silence : collected works / Hone Tuwhare.
“Hone Tuwhare died in 2008, having published 10 different new collections and becoming one of this country’s best-loved poets. But his books have mostly gone out of print”–annotation.
“This volume showcases the finest examples of Hone’s poetry, from his early triumph in No ordinary Sun right up to his final works, published when he was in his eighties. Also included are a handful of previously unpublished poems as well as a number translated into Māori by Patu Hohepa, Selwyn Muru and Waihoroi Shortland”–back cover.

Syndetics book coverGuns and utu : a short history of the musket wars. by Matthew Wright. Penguin, 2011.
” In the two decades before the Treaty of Waitangi, New Zealand underwent island-spanning waves of warfare, extreme violence and cannibalism… These dramatic conflicts were not simply ‘musket’wars. They were part of a wide-ranging response by Māori to the first culture-contact in their history – exposing all the realities of the human condition. This was an age of courage, heroism, great character and astonishing deeds”.–back cover

Syndetics book coverTōku reo, tōku ohooho : ka whawhai tonu mātou = My language, my inspiration : the struggle continues / Chris Winitana.
“E āta raupapatia atu ana e Tōku reo, Tōku ohooho, ngā hinonga whakahirahira a te iwi Māori ki te tō mai i tōna reo mai i te pō kerekere ki te ao mārama. Mai i te petihana mō te reo i te tau 1972 ki 2008, he whakaatu i te whakatieke a te iwi Māori ki te pupuri i tōna reo, ā, he kōrero tahi hoki ki te kōiti a rangapū i te hāputa o te riri nā rātau te reo i whakaora.”–i muri i te pukapuka.

Syndetics book coverMy language, my inspiration : the struggle continues = Tōku reo, tōku ohooho: ka whawhai tonu mātou / Chris Winitana.
“My language, my inspiration – details the concerted efforts of Māori to ensure the survival of the Māori language and bring it out of the shadows and into the world of light. From the petition for the Māori language in 1972 up to 2008, it describes the events that led to the revitalisation of the Māori language and interviews the people who were central to the revival.”–back cover.

Syndetics book coverA simple nullity? : the Wi Parata case in New Zealand law and history / David V. Williams.
The New Zealand Supreme Court in ruling on Wi Parata v the Bishop of Wellington in 1877, concerning land use and ownership at Whitireia, dismissed the relevance of the Treaty of Waitangi as a simple nullity. This case has been seen as symbolic of the neglect of Maori rights by settlers, the government, and New Zealand law. Williams takes a fresh look at the case,with new insights into both Maori-Pakeha relations in the 19th century and the legal position of the treaty.– summary of comment on back cover.

To the gateways of Florence : New Zealand forces in Tuscany, 1944 / edited by Stefano Fusi ; [translation, Jill Gabriel].
Contents include: The price of citizenship: Maori involvement in the Italian Campaign / Monty Soutar.
“From 21 July to 4 August 1944, the Chianti area of Tuscany was the scene of bloody fighting as Allied forces waged a bitter battle to wrest Florence from German hands… But research by [the] then mayor of Tavarnelle, Stefano Fusi, and his wife Jill Gabriel, herself a New Zealander, confirmed that it had been soldiers of the 25th Maori Battalion who had led the offensive through much of Chianti…” Book flap.

Sites : a journal of social anthropology & cultural studies ; vol 8, no. 1 (2011)
Special issue: Organ and Xeno transplantation edited by Rhonda Shaw.
Includes: p. 40. Whanau, whakapapa and identity in experiencesof organ donation and transplantation by Robert Webb & Rhonda Shaw.
“This article is based upon qualitative interviews with Maori and their whanau, and explores research into the direct experiences and perspectives of Maori on organ or tissue donation and transplantation. ” — Abstract p. 40.