FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 in Te Whanganui-a-Tara!

Kia ora koutou ngā kaitākaro poikiri / Soccer players!

Image of a number of hands raising the FIFA trophy into the air.
Unless you have been living under a rock (if so, hello! ) you might have heard that New Zealand (with Australia) is now hosting the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup. This is very exciting for Aotearoa as we often don’t get the chance to host such big and important tournaments.

The kick off started on Thursday 20th July in Auckland with NZ winning 1-0 in their first world cup match against Norway, who is a much higher ranked team than us. New Zealand, ranked 26th in the world, had never won a match in five previous appearances at the Women’s World Cup.

We also set a record for attendance for any soccer match in New Zealand history, men’s or women’s with more than 42,100 people in attendance. You can imagine how proud and excited we all are!

Kimihia ngā poiwhana! | Find the footballs!

playground with football sign attached to fenceApart from going to games there are also lots of other fun events and activities around the city to get involved in.

 Wellington City Council’s very own Play Specialist Peta has set up a cool installation in six local parks where you can try and Kimihia ngā poiwhana | Find the footballs! Find the golden ball to be in to win one of 20 FIFA Women’s World Cup TM Official Merchandise packs!

⚽ Check out this reel here: Wellington Recreation Centres to find out more or read more below:

⚽ At six of our parks below we’ve hidden 11 special football signs for you to find. On each of the football signs, you and your tamariki can learn common football terms in Te Reo Māori and in New Zealand Sign Language.

⚽ Amongst the 11 football signs at each park lies a hidden treasure – a golden ball with a QR code. Scan this to go in the draw to win one of 20 FIFA Women’s World cup 2023 TM Official Merchandise Packs!

⚽ The balls are located at six of our parks, including Karori and Nairnville Parks, which are not far from a couple of our Wellington Recreation Centres. You can find them at:

  • Miramar Park
  • Linden Park and Linden Park West
  • Pukehuia Park
  • Narinville Park
  • Wakefield Park

We will be drawing winners throughout July and August, and winners will be contacted directly via email.

FIFA Fan Festival 

3 football fern players

Football Ferns Headshoot, Christchurch, New Zealand, 10th November 2022. Copyright: John Davidson /

⚽  Join the party at the FIFA Fan Festival™ at Shed 6. From 20 July to 11 August enjoy free entertainment from artists including Ladyhawke, Amba Holly, Ria Hal, Che Fu and much more, plus live streamed matches and fun for the whole family.  Indoors at Shed 6, and outdoors at Queens Wharf Square.

⚽  There are lighting projections planned on Te Papa and The Boatshed during the FIFA tournament window, with additional uplighting installed along the Waterfront and last mile, leading to Wellington Regional Stadium.

⚽  Find out more at the WellingtonNZ Fifa Fan Festival website

A picture of Hataitai beach

Council’s Beach Planting initiative for FIFA Fans

  • On 25th July, willing FIFA Fans and players can join a planned beach planting day at Lyall Bay Beach.
  • Transport will be available from the CBD.
  • Bookings will take place on the Council’s ‘SMART’ app.

Tell me more about the World Cup!

soccer ball on a field with stadium seats in background

Te Whanganui-a-Tara, Wellington will host seven Group Matches, a Round of Sixteen clash, and a Quarter Final. All games will be held at Wellington Regional Stadium.

Wellington Regional Stadium Matches- coming up

  • Football Ferns v Philippines: 25 July (5.30pm NZDT)
  • USA v Netherlands: 27 July (1pm NZDT)
  • Sweden v Italy: 29 July (7.30pm NZDT)
  • Japan v Spain: 31 July (7pm NZDT)
  • South Africa v Italy: 2 August (7pm NZDT)
  • Round of 16: 1C v 2A: 5 August (8pm NZDT)
  • Quarterfinal Match: 11 August (1pm NZDT)

Can’t make it to a World Cup event? Don’t worry, we have plenty of great stories featuring awesome female (and male) football players and lots of books to help you learn some new skills too!

Books about Football!

⚽  If you want to improve your skills, or just learn some more about soccer or some of NZ’s sporting greats check out these great reads:

Football atlas : a journey across the world and onto the pitch / Buckley, James
“A journey across the globe and onto the pitch to learn about the world of football. A comprehensive exploration of football, covering players, teams, stadiums and competitions through a mix of illustrations, photographs, maps and diagrams. Follow the story of how football began, learn about World Cup winners, meet some of the top players and discover amazing facts and figures in this action-packed atlas.” (Catalogue)

Charligh Green vs. the spotlight / Mante, Priscilla
“Hi! I’m Charligh, and one day I’m going to be a big star. I’m full of PIZZAZZ after all, and everyone I’ve ever met tells me I’m unforgettable. In a good way, I think. I’ve always loved attention, but at the moment, there’s a teeny tiny chance I’m getting it for all the wrong reasons. For starters, me and my very-nearly-world-famous team, the Bramrock Stars, are trying to win big against our rivals in the new league. But I can’t stop tripping over the ball! And although I’ve got my dream part in the school play, the words just won’t stick in my head. What’s going to happen if I can’t learn my lines? Luckily for me, my best friends really are the bestest, and I know they’ll help me whatever it takes. It’s time for me to step into the spotlight, and prove girls really can do anything!” (Catalogue)

Megan Rapinoe / Sánchez Vegara, Ma Isabel
“Discover the life of Megan Rapinoe, the world record-breaking footballer and activist. Chasing a ball in the school playground, Megan discovered her calling at a young age. Even if she didn’t always fit in at school, she was a star on the field- and her teammates thought so too. Her passion, skill and leadership took Team USA to Olympic Gold and a World Cup victory, while she continues to champion women’s and LGBTQ+ rights and representation in sport.” (Catalogue)

She shoots, she scores / Clarke, Catriona
“She Shoots, She Scores! tells the empowering story of how women’s football has become one of the fastest-growing sports in the world. Written by acclaimed YA novelist Catriona Clarke and with a foreword by England captain Steph Houghton, it is sure to inspire the next generation of female football superstars. Young football fans will discover how the early female players overcame prejudice to set up their own teams, and read the compelling stories of players who beat the odds to become famous around the world: including Scotland’s Rose Reilly, Asisat Oshoala from Nigeria, and Afghanistan’s Nadia Nadim. The book is packed with facts and stats about the Women’s World Cup and the Olympics, plus pocket profiles of the world’s top players – from Marta to Megan Rapinoe – and record-breaking teams, including the US national women’s team and Olympique Lyonnais. What’s more, discover the key skills you’ll need to become a great goalkeeper, a tough-tackling defender or the world’s next superstar striker!”–Publisher’s description.” (Catalogue)

Our beautiful game / Kuenzler, Lou
“Polly Nabb is no stranger to trouble. When her brother Joe is sent to serve in the trenches, all Polly wants is to kick a ball about and forget the war. Mam has other ideas, and makes her stay home to help with endless chores. But football is something Polly is prepared to fight for – it’s her life! She’s determined to do whatever it takes to fulfil her dream and show the world that football is not just for boys . . .” (Catalogue)

The big book of football
“Dive into the world of football with this mega book of everything to do with the beautiful game. Learn all the lingo; meet the greatest players, managers and teams from both the men’s and women’s games; take masterclasses with the pros; wander through the haircut hall of fame; learn the most iconic goal celebrations and more.” (Catalogue)

Find more books in our catalogue

Celebrate Hairy Maclary’s 40th Birthday at the Library!

This month marks a very special anniversary for a very special dog — it’s Hairy Maclary’s 40th birthday! First scampering their way onto the pages in July 1983 in Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy, Lynley Dodd’s playful canine creations Hairy Maclary, Hercules Morse, Muffin McLay, Bitzer Maloney, Bottomley Potts, and Schnitzel von Krumm have been delighting readers (and running away from frightening felines!) for more than two generations.

To celebrate this very special occasion, we are hosting some very special Hairy Maclary-themed activities next week for the whole whānau to enjoy. Nau mai — everyone is welcome! We would love to see you there.

Hairy Maclary Family Storytimes!

Scatter your paws and clatter your claws as you trot on down to the library to celebrate 40 years of canine capers at our special Hairy Maclary-themed storytimes! Join us for stories, songs, and a special craft. Recommended for tamariki aged 2+ with their caregivers.

Hairy Maclary’s Great CRAFTerschool Caper

Out of the gate and off for a walk… to the library for CRAFTerschool! Join us at the library to celebrate Hairy Maclary’s 40th birthday with a special craft activity for tamariki to enjoy. Recommended for tamariki aged 5+ with their caregivers.

Let’s Go LEGO®: Hairy Maclary and Friends!

Have you ever thought about what Donaldson’s Dairy might look like if you made it out of LEGO®? Help us celebrate Hairy Maclary’s 40th birthday with this specially-themed LEGO® session at the library. Recommended for tamariki aged 5+ with their caregivers.

Can’t make it to one of our special Hairy Maclary events? Don’t worry, we have plenty of books featuring Aotearoa’s favourite pooch in our collection, including copies in te reo Māori and Chinese.

Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy / Dodd, Lynley
“A small black dog and his canine friends are terrorized by the local tomcat.” (Catalogue)

Hairy Maclary scattercat / Dodd, Lynley
“Feeling very frisky, a little black dog enjoys chasing all the cats he meets until he comes across Scarface Claw.” (Catalogue)

Hairy Maclary and Zachary Quack / Dodd, Lynley
“Zachary Quack, a small and determined duckling, sets out to play with a rather reluctant Hairy Maclary. A ‘cat and mouse’ chase follows, with the two characters ending up peacefully snuggled together after Zachary Quack has saved a soggy Hairy Maclary from the river.” (Catalogue)

Hairy Maclary’s showbusiness / Dodd, Lynley
“When Hairy Maclary bounces and pounces his way into the cat show, his flustering and blustering bring a very unexpected result…” –Back cover.” (Catalogue)

Hairy Maclary hide and seek : a lift-the-flap book / Dodd, Lynley
“Hairy Maclary is playing hide and seek with the neighbourhood cats. Can you find him?” (Catalogue)

Hairy Maclary and friends : a touch & feel book / Dodd, Lynley
“Introduces Hairy Maclary, his canine friends and Scarface Claw, the toughest Tom in town. On board pages, with materials to touch and feel. Suggested level: preschool.” (Catalogue)

Hairy Maclary no te teri a tanarahana / Dodd, Lynley
“Ki waho i te keti te hikoitanga a Hairy Maclary no te Teri a Tanarahana …Ka haere tahi nga hoa o Hairy Maclary ki a ia mea noa ake, ka oho mai he aue, he ngawi, he ngawe, makere kau ana ta ratou omanga ke. Na te aha ra a matihao ma i marara ai? ‘Eutaki ai te tamaiti ki te ao pukapuka.’ The Times” (Catalogue)

Schnitzel Von Krumm forget-me-not / Dodd, Lynley
“Schnitzel von Krumm’s family is packing to go on holiday. The little dog meddles and snoops and gets underfoot until everyone is driven mad. At last the car is packed; seatbelts are fastened and they all set off. But when they’ve driven far out of town they stop and realise their horrible mistake. Schnitzel has been left behind!”–Publisher information.” (Catalogue)

Zachary Quack minimonster / Dodd, Lynley
“When mischievous duckling Zachary Quack meets a flicketty-quick dragonfly, he hustles it into the air. But who is really hustling who? Zachary Quack stars in his own big adventure as he chases a dragonfly through some very sticky situations.” (Catalogue)

Hairy Maclary, shoo / Dodd, Lynley
“When Hairy Maclary decides to snoop inside a parked delivery van, he’s in for a chaotic adventure. After a rattling, roaring ride, and finding himself far from home, he desperately tries to get back to the Dairy creating havoc and incurring the wrath of shopkeepers, schoolteachers and passers-by along the way.” (Catalogue)

Hairy Maclary’s caterwaul caper / Dodd, Lynley
“With a twitch of his tail and a purposeful paw, down by the river crept Scarface Claw!” (Catalogue)

Whakanuia a Matariki: School Holidays Wrap-Up!

Kia ora koutou tamariki & whānau! We hope you all had a stellar school holiday and enjoyed reading wonderful Matariki pukapuka and attending some of our Whakanuia a Matariki events!

Let’s take a moment to look back on the beautiful art you created, our cosy stories and performances, and some of the important reflections and aspirations that we shared with each other.

  • Purapura Whetū collaborative constellations shine bright together at Johnsonville Library!
    Our Purapura Whetū collaborative constellations shine bright at Johnsonville Library!
  • During Kōhatu Matariki, tamariki shared their reflections and aspirations through embelishing rocks from Te Taiao
  • Matariki by Firelight, stories and crafts at Brooklyn Library!
  • Kōhatu Matariki: Whakapaipaitia te Taiao, in progress at Karori Library!
  • String Bean Puppets: The Penguin and the Sea Monster was a whānau favourite around the city!
  • Fly to the Matariki Stars at Island Bay Community Centre taught kids about Puanga and the Matariki stars!
  • Matariki by Firelight at Tawa Library
  • Anna Bailey’s String Bean Puppets at Ruth Gotlieb (Kilbirnie) Library! Can you spot the kororā?

Wellington City Libraries and Community Centres would like to give a massive thanks to Anna Bailey for running the phenomenal String Bean Puppets: The Penguin and the Sea Monster sessions, which introduced tamariki to brave kororā and themes of kaitiakitanga. The Children and Youth Services team would like to give a special thanks to our Māori Customer Specialist, Ann Reweti and the wonderful members of our team who provided great event ideas and practical advice in making sure that events were aligned with tikanga. 

Thanks to everyone who came along and helped make our  Whakanuia a Matariki programme so special! We hope to see you all again next holidays, or hopefully before then at your local library branch! To find out about our regular programmes, special events, and holiday happenings, make sure to keep an eye-out on the kids’ blog, and our Facebook page, or our events calendar.

Continue learning about Matariki and Puanga with some wonderful titles available at the library:

Ngā whetū Matariki whānakotia / Kamo, Miriama
“Sam and Te Rerehua search for the stars that have mysteriously gone missing.” (Catalogue)

Also available in Te Reo Pākehā as The Stolen Stars of Matariki.

Ko Flit, te Tīrairaka me te mahere Matariki / Quin, Kat
“Join Flit and his friends, Keri the kiwi and wise old Ruru, as they explore the night skies to work out how to capture a sparkling star. When the friends get lost, they follow the twinkling clues in the sky to find their way back home.” (Catalogue)

Also available in Te Reo Pākehā as Flit the Fantail and the Matariki Map.

Ngā manu tukutuku e whitu o Matariki / McClintock, Calico
“It is a special time of year. A time when the whispering wind blows warm from the east, and a crescent moon rises in the wintry night sky. Seven little sisters make kites with eyes of seashells to celebrate the New Year. But that playfulwind whips those kites away… Matariki is here!” (Catalogue)

Also available in Te Reo Pākehā as The Seven Kites of Matariki.

Te Huihui o Matariki / Rolleston-Cummins, Toni
“When Mitai’s seven handsome brothers are bewitched by seven beautiful women, Mitai seeks advice and learns that the women are patupaiarehe and must be cast far away. They are given to Urutengangana, the god of the stars, who places them in the far away heavens. Yet once a year, at winter solstice, he allows them to shine in the Eastern sky.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Also available in Te Reo Pākehā as The Seven Stars of Matariki.

Tā Daniel hākari Matariki / Beyer, Rebecca
“Starting something new is always difficult. How will Daniel fit in? Luckily for him Matariki is a time of sharing and new beginnings.” (Catalogue)

Also available in Te Reo Pākehā as Daniel’s Matariki Feast

Ko te kī taurangi a Puanga: he ururoa ki te Whānau Matariki / Wadsworth, Kirsty
This enthralling tale tells the story of Puanga, cousin to the Matariki sisters, and how it was that she came to join them in the sky above Aotearoa. At its heart it’s a story of whānau, friendship, tradition and sacrifice. The text is evocative and powerfully paced; the illustrations atmospheric and perfectly matched.

Also available in Te Reo Pākehā as “The Promise of Puanga.”

Ngā mihi o te tau hou Māori!

Te Ara Pukapuka Children’s Walk at Kilbirnie Park

Earlier this year, some of you might have visited Te Ara Pukapuka, whether at Khandallah Park during Autumn, or at Churchill Park in Seatoun over Summer!

The Winter instalment of Te Ara Pukapuka (The Book Pathway) has now arrived at Kilbirnie Park, complete with a new pukapuka for tamariki to read as they play and explore!

We have partnered with our friends in Wellington City Parks, Sport & Recreation team and publisher Scholastic New Zealand to bring you a bilingual story in English and Te Reo Māori; the wonderful The Promise of Puanga/ Ko Te Kī Taurangi a Puanga by author Kirsty Wadsworth, illustrator Munro Te Whata, and translator Ngaere Roberts.

We are grateful to be able to share such a beautiful story about Matariki and Puanga at this special time of the year! Te Ara Pukapuka begins near 601 Evans Bay Parade, by the Wellington Regional Aquatic Centre carpark, and ends at the seating area parallel to Wellington Road.

Ngā mihi to the fabulous team at Scholastic for their support! The Promise of Puanga / Te Kī Taurangi a Puanga is available to borrow from our libraries, and to buy from all good bookstores.

Holiday activities at Ruth Gotlieb (Kilbirnie) Library and Kilbirnie Recreation Centre! 

Over the school holidays, once you’ve finished reading and exploring, we encourage you to go visit Kilbirnie Library and Kilbirnie Rec Centre!

At Ruth Gotlieb (Kilbirnie) Library, tamariki can contribute to Purapura Whetū: Star Webs to celebrate Matariki. Tamariki will create beautiful stars symbolizing our thankfulness and aspirations for the future. These stars will shine together in a “Collaborative Constellation”, a sparkling embodiment of our shared gratitude and hopes!

Kilbirnie Library also has The Great Pukapuka Book Hunt where tamariki look for books on the shelves/in the catalogue that connect to the stars of Matariki.

Over at Kilbirnie Recreation Centre, tamariki can grab a map and search for each of the stars (whetū) of Matariki as part of Star Navigators: a Matariki Treasure Hunt

Read our blog to find out about other library events as part of Whakanuia a Matariki: July School Holiday Programme, and be sure to pop across the street to Bag a Bargain at the Library Book Sale at St. Patrick’s College Hall (581 Evans Bay Parade) from Friday 7 July to Monday 10 July, 10am-4pm daily.

Vaiaso o le Gagana Sāmoa | Sāmoa Language Week 2023!

Tālofa Lava! Welcome to Vaiaso o le Gagana Sāmoa, Sāmoa Language Week 2023!

Download a Sāmoa Language Week poster!

What is Sāmoa Language Week?

Sāmoa Language Week | Vaiaso o le Gagana Sāmoa is celebrated this year from 28 May – 3rd June 2023.  This is a chance for all New Zealanders to celebrate Sāmoa language, Sāmoan culture in New Zealand and around the world, and to promote the use of Sāmoan language in schools, at work and at home.

Did you know that nearly 4% of New Zealanders are Sāmoan? That’s almost 200,000 people! Gagana Sāmoa is the 3rd most spoken language in Aotearoa, New Zealand!

Being proud of your language is such an important part of feeling proud of your culture. This year’s theme for Vaiaso o le Gagana Sāmoa is:

‘Mitamita i lau gagana, maua’a lou fa’asinomaga’ which means ‘Be proud of your language and grounded in your identity’.

This blog was written using the topics explored on the from the Ministry of Pacific Peoples Website. You can read the original article here: Ministry for Pacific Peoples — Sāmoa Language Week 2023 (

Feel proud about being Sāmoan!

When you feel proud and strong in your Sāmoan language and identity, it helps you feel good about yourself. How does this work? When you can speak your language, you will feel stronger in your identity as a Sāmoan. This gives you confidence in yourself and confidence helps you feel good.  Don’t worry if you don’t know many words yet, try to practice the ones that you have everyday!

Did you know there is such a thing as ‘ancestral language’ ?

Tupua Tamasese Lealofi III in front of the Mau office in Vaimoso village, near Apia, 1929. by Alfred James Tattersall. Ref: PAColl-0691-2. Alexander Turnbull Library.

Sāmoan ancestral language included symbols, signs, environmental landmarks, events and gestures. These may be the same that the ancestors used hundreds of years ago.  They are an important part of Sāmoan history, even though sometimes they can be intangible, which means things that maybe difficult to touch, or record.  Be proud of your language that was created and grown by our ancestors.

Be proud of your spiritual language

The Sāmoan language is such an important part of our churches and is nurtured in church programmes and activities such as Sunday school, youth groups, choirs and church services. The church plays an important role in ensuring the Sāmoan language thrives, and that Sāmoan people are proud of their language.

You could meet Suliana Vea from the Alexander Turnbull Library!

To celebrate Vaiaso o le Gagana Sāmoa your family can join Suliana Vea from the Alexander Turnbull Library and Ulu Afaese from Digital Pasifik to explore the Sāmoan collections held at the Library, on Thursday 1 June 2023, 5:45pm to 6:45pm! If don’t already know about these collections, they are awesome! You can also find out how you can contribute to the Digital Pasifik website. Why not ask your whanau if they will take you?

Be proud of your language in your families

Pride in Gagana Sāmoa, Sāmoan language, begins in the home. The family is the first classroom for Sāmoans. We are first taught in our homes how to speak and show respect to elders and others. You learn how to invite people to eat, as well as know how to acknowledge gifts of food that people bring with them. Be proud of your family!

Be proud of your written language 

As our world changes, Gagana Sāmoa also needs to adapt and change. Our written language is now becoming more valued in schools, workplaces, places of worship, and many other areas of our lives. It is a wonderful thing to learn how to read, understand, speak and write Gagana Sāmoa. Be proud of your written language and you can teach your friends! Come and have a look at our new Sāmoan books in the Library. There are more and more Sāmoan authors writing and publishing more books everyday! Maybe you could grow up to write your own!

  • Check out this super cool website Digital Pasifik which is taking the Sāmoan Language and culture in the future!

Get your younger brothers and sisters and listen to a storytime!

Here is a storytime in English and Gagana Sāmoa, How Do You Say ‘Thank You’? by Karamia Müller. Many thanks to the publisher Beatnik Publishing for allowing us to share this story!

Lewis Ioane made this video when he worked for Wellington City Libraries and now he works at the Porirua City Libraries!

Find Out More:

You can also visit your local library and borrow some amazing books to learn more about Sāmoan culture, and practice the language. All our libraries have Sāmoan books but Te Whare Pukapuka o Omārōrō Newtown Library has the biggest collection! If you don’t have a library card- you can sign up for free. If you are worried about fines – just talk to the staff, they can help.

Awesome Sāmoan books in our collection:

Losi the Giant fisherman : Samoan myths and legends pick a path collection / Malaeulu, Dahlia
Losi the Giant was the greatest fisherman across all the moana. A mischievous and loyal friend to sea creatures and all humans, Losi will always be remembered as the hero who brought taro, the food of the Gods’, to Earth.

Author and Publisher Dahlia Malaeulu lives in Wellington and has written and published lots of Sāmoan books. You can read her blog about how Losi the Giant fisherman was shaped by her son Mase who has Autism.

Available from Mila’s Books!

Also, read this really interesting article on the Spinoff!

Sāmoan heroes / Riley, David
“A collection of inspirational stories of achievers who have Sāmoan ancestry. It includes: contemporary heroes like Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, Troy Polamalu, Judge Ida Mālosi, Savage and Associate Professor Donna Adis; historical figures like Emma Coe, Tamasese, Salamāsina and Lauaki; legends like Sina, Tiʻitiʻi and Tigilau”–Back cover.” (Catalogue). Also available as an eBook.

Fanene Peter Maivia : son of Sāmoa / Riley, David
“Fanene Peter Maivia – Son of Sāmoa is the remarkable story of the first Polynesian to become a star of professional wrestling. Fanene’s life began in Sāmoa and he took Sāmoa to the world. He was a pioneer who inspired some of the greatest wrestlers the world has known, including his own grandson, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.”–Publisher’s description.” (Catalogue). Also available as an eBook.

Brush up on your geography and history with…

Sāmoa / Aiono-Iosefa, Sarona
“Did you know that the English word ‘tattoo’ is supposedly derived from the Sāmoan word ‘tatau’? Find out about the traditional methods still used by Sāmoans to apply the amazing tattoos worn by many of the islands’ people today. In this book you will discover that an ‘ie toga is a beautiful and intricate fine mat, woven by Sāmoan women and used as highly prized gifts, which are made and given to celebrate important occasions. You can also study the climate, population, social structure and political history of the thirteen islands that make up the beautiful countries of American Sāmoa and independent Sāmoa (formerly Western Sāmoa).” (Catalogue).

Sāmoa & Tuvalu / Guile, Melanie
This book contains information about the history, culture and people of Sāmoa and nearby Tuvalu. A great book to have just in time for Sāmoan Language week.
Learn some simple words and phrases

  • Tālofa lava: Hello (formal)
  • Mālō le soifua: Hello/Good health
  • ‘O ā mai ‘oe? How are you? (to one person only)
  • Manuia fa‘afetai: Good, thank you
  • Manuia le aso: Have a great day
  • Tōfā soifua: Good bye (formal)

Faʻafetai lava ma ʻia manuia tele le Vaiaso o le Gagana Sāmoa!

Thank you and have a very blessed Sāmoan Language Week

Gasav Ne Fäeag Rotuạm Ta: Rotuman Language Week 2023

Noaʻia ʻe mḁuri gagaj ʻatakoa! Welcome to Gasav Ne Fäeag Rotuạm Ta | Rotuman Language Week 2023.

Girl smiling

Download a Rotuman Language Week Poster!

What is Rotuman Language Week?

Rotuman Language Week is the first in a series of Pasifika Language Weeks that are celebrated in Aotearoa, New Zealand.

New Zealand is the only country in the world where the languages and culture of our Pasifika cousins are celebrated. Fäeag Rotuạm, the Rotuman language, is the first of nine Pasifika language weeks this year, and it runs from the 7th May – 13th May 2023.

Where is Rotuma you ask? The main island of Rotuma is about 13km by 4km and is about 580km from Fiji’s capital, Suva. Rotuma is a dependency of Fiji, so Rotumans will usually speak Fijian and English too! There are about 2000 Rotumans living on the island, and 10,000 living in mainland Fiji and globally.

More information about Rotuma Day and the history of Routma can be read or listened to in this article from Radio NZ.

This year’s theme for Gasav Ne Fäeag Rotuạm Ta is:

Vetḁkia ‘os Fäega ma Ag fak hanua – Sustaining our Language and Culture.

In these times, when it sometimes it feels like things are just moving too fast, we think this is a wonderful idea to reflect on.

We interviewed Kelly, a librarian who works in the South East branches and is also a proud Rotuman woman. Check out our instagram page to watch the reels: Wellington City Libraries Instagram

So how do you speak Rotuman?

Well, Rotumans roll their ‘R’s and pronounce ‘G’ with a smooth ‘ing’ sound, similar to how ‘ng’ is pronounced in te reo Māori.

Here are some key phrases in Rotuman [Row-too-man]:
Noa’ia [Noah-e-yah]= Hello, greetings.
Ka ‘äe tapen? [Car eh tar-pen] = How are you?
Gou lelei fḁiåksia [Ngou leh-lay for-yak-see-yah] = I am well thank you.
Figalelei [Fee-nga-leh-lay] = Please
Fḁiåksia [Foyak-see-yah] = Thank you
Hanis ma röt’åk [Hah-niece mah röt-ack] = Sorry
La’ ma ḁlalum [Lah mah aw-lah-loom] = Goodbye (only to those leaving)
Fu’ ma ḁlalum [Foo mah aw-lah-loom] = Goodbye (only to those staying)

Find more words and phrases in this language guide produced by the Ministry for Pacific Peoples.

The Ministry for Pacific Peoples provides great resources and information about our Pasifika languages and cultural events. Visit the official NZ Rotuman Language Week Facebook page, and the official website, for more information about Rotuman Language Week 2022!

Eid Mubarak! Happy Eid!

As Salaamu Alaykum & Eid Mubarak to our Muslim whānau!

What is Islam?

Ramadan and Eid are important events in the religion called Islam. People who follow Islam are called Muslims. Did you know there are about 1.9 billion Muslims worldwide? Islam is the second biggest religion in the world, after Christianity!

Why is it good to learn about Islam?

A local Muslim family celebrating Eid al-Fitr at Newtown Library

As the world comes together and people mix more and more, it’s good to learn about religions and cultures that maybe different to your own. You may be Muslim yourself, have a Muslim friend, or classmate, or you may not know any Muslims. But we can all learn more about Islam. Like many religions, Islam has lots of ancient wisdom and practices that help its followers to be peaceful and kind people.

Libraries are great places to learn the basic facts about religions, cultures, important celebrations and special days.

Ramadan and Eid-al-Fitr

Ramadan is one of the most sacred times of the year for Muslims. During this month Muslims are expected to fast from dawn until sunset, pray, give charity and spend time with family. Generally, it is a time spent being quiet and reflecting on Allah (God). Ramadan ends with Eid al-Fitr, a celebration that marks the end of the fasting. In Arabic it means ‘Holiday of Breaking the Fast’. It is also a holiday where sharing food is very important. Yum!

Did you know there are two Eid celebrations? Eid al-Fitr is always the first one in the year and it is usually around May or June. The other Eid is called Eid al-Adha and happens around July or August.

Eid in Aotearoa New Zealand

In Aotearoa New Zealand 2023, Eid Day will fall on either Saturday 22nd or Sunday 23rd of April – it all depends on the sighting of the moon.  Traditionally, Eid al-Fitr begins at sunset on the night of the first sighting of the crescent moon. Everyone needs to give money to charity (meaning to people who are poor or needy) which is called Zakat-ul-Fitr. After that there is a special ‘Eid prayer’.

This year there is a big celebration happening in Wellington on the 22nd of April, organised by the Eid Day Trust. Everyone can go and join in the fun. You can find out more on their Facebook page.

Celebration Collection

In the Library we have a new Celebration Collection for Ramadan and Eid. This means we have a lot of beautiful new books about Ramadan and Eid-al-Fitr that are available at this time of the year.

During Ramadan some of the books have even been staying at mosques around Wellington City!

As part of this special collection, we have over 60 books about Ramadan and Eid written by Muslim authors, as well as many books with Muslim characters. These books are for kids of all ages, from babies all the way up to intermediate-aged readers.

Please do come into our libraries and see our beautiful new books. Eid Mubarak!

Children’s books about Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr

The proudest blue : a story of hijab and family / Muhammad, Ibtihaj
“Faizah relates how she feels on the first day her sister, sixth-grader Asiya, wears a hijab to school.” (Catalogue)
In my mosque / Yuksel, M. O.
“A picture book featuring culturally rich artwork celebrates the joys, rituals, and traditions that are practiced in mosques throughout the world, and includes a glossary and information about many historical and significant mosques.” (Catalogue)
Aya and the butterfly / Salama, Maysoon
“Aya and her grandad grow swan plants in their garden. Dedicated to the children and whānau of the Aotearoa New Zealand Muslim community, whose lives were changed forever on 15 March 2019.” (Catalogue)
Once upon an Eid : stories of hope and joy by 15 Muslim voices
“Eid: The short, single-syllable word conjures up a variety of feelings and memories for Muslims. Maybe it’s waking up to the sound of frying samosas and simmering pistachio kheer, maybe it’s the pleasure of putting on a new outfit for Eid prayers, or maybe it’s the gift giving and holiday parties to come that day. Whatever it may be, for those who cherish this day of celebration, the emotional responses may be summed up in another short and sweet word: joy.” (Adapted from Catalogue)
Like the moon loves the sky / Khan, Hena
“Illustrations and prose inspired by the Quran celebrate a mother’s love and hopes for her child.” (Catalogue)
Sadiq / Nuurali, Siman (series)
“When Sadiq’s father leaves on a business trip, he worries he’ll miss his baba too much. But Baba has a story for Sadiq: the story of the Desert Star. Learning about Baba’s passion for the stars sparks Sadiq’s interest in outer space. But can Sadiq find others who are willing to help him start the space club of his dreams?” (Catalogue entry for Sadiq and the Desert Star)
Planet Omar / Mian, Zanib (series)
“Welcome, readers, to the imaginative brain of Omar! You might not know me yet, but once you open the pages of this book you’ll laugh so hard that snot will come out of your nose (plus you might meet a dragon and a zombie – what more could you want?). My parents decided it would be a good idea to move house AND move me to a new school at the same time. As if I didn’t have a hard enough time staying out of trouble at home, now I’ve also got to try and make new friends. […] The only good thing is that Eid’s just around the corner which means a feast of all my favourite food (YAY) and presents (DOUBLE YAY).” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Community languages

Please note: We also have books in different community languages about Islam, Ramadan and Eid, including Arabic, Farsi, Somali and Bahasa Malaysia.

Please do come into our libraries and see our beautiful new books. Eid Mubarak!


Read this post in English!


Chinese New Year Display and books inChinese languages at Johnsonville Library

Chinese New Year Display and books in Chinese languages at Johnsonville Library.

Library events:

Lunar New Year Mandarin Storytime 10.30-11.00am, Tuesday 24 January

Te Awe Library, 29B Brandon Street, Wellington


Lunar New Year Storytime Tuesday, 31 January 10:30am

Johnsonville Library, 34 Moorefield Road, Johnsonville 

欢迎参加Johnsonville图书馆组织的迎中国新年活动. 我们将用普通话, 福建话和英语讲述有趣的故事, 和以歌曲等形式开展与孩子们的互动活动

今年,2023兔年。在十二生肖里,兔子是排行第四的属相。十二生肖的传说中,兔子是一只有一点点小骄傲的动物。它自己跑得很快的速度引以为傲,经常嘲笑它的邻居,牛,总是吞吞的。有一天,玉皇大帝为了找出一个可以简单计算的方法,而找了十二只动物赛赛跑。兔子也参加了这项赛,并早早就到达了赛现场。为对自己的速度很有信心,兔子决定先睡个午觉。结果等它醒来时,有三只动物终点线了!其中牛还得到了第二名!等兔子匆匆忙忙地过终点时,它只获得了第四名。此外,兔子也经常被描一只很善良,很有自信小动物。也偶尔会有点严肃,但兔子也是很感性,会努力地朝着目进。更多关于兔年的资料,可以浏览 Year of the Rabbit (


Artist impression of Bánh chưng and bánh tét wrapped up for cooking.

在越南,农历新年被称作元旦Tết Nguyên Đán)。越南人将会穿上传统服装,并准备许多美味的食物像是Bánh chưng bánh tét庆祝这重要的节日Bánh chưng bánh tét是一种用糯米,绿豆和猪肉做成的越南粽子,差别在于Bánh chưng 使用一种称为“ dong”的叶子包成正方形,而bánh tét则用香蕉叶包成圆柱形,并在食用时会切成轮形 

Illustration of hanbok

Artist impression of hanbok.


在马来西亚,其他种族,像是马来人和印度人,也会和当地华人一起欢庆农历新年你可以对马来西亚人(或称作大马人新年快乐”,“Happy New Year”,或者是“Selamat Tahun Baru Cina”,即马来文的新年快乐”。因为有着在除夕前夜一家人整整齐齐地围着餐桌吃“团圆饭”的传统,在外工作读书的华人都会赶在除夕前夜,或称年三十晚前回家小孩子或未婚的晚辈都会在年初一时从长辈那里收到代表着祝福的红包。在收到红包时,除了说谢谢,小孩子和晚辈也会对长辈说一些代表吉祥如意的祝福语,像是“身体健康”、“恭喜发财”、“出入平安”等等。 


The 12 days of Lunar New Year / Lettice, Jenna
12种庆祝农历新年的方法这本书很可爱地描绘了一系列从年初一到年十二一家人如何以传统文化的方式庆祝农历新年。相信无论大人还是小孩都会喜欢上这本有趣又有意义的童书。 ” (Abridged and translated from catalogue)
Lunar New Year / Eliot, Hannah
这本书介绍了什么是农历新年,解释了包括食物,装饰,和节庆活动游戏等相关知识。 ” (Translated from catalogue)

Happy Chinese New Year! : A Festive Counting Story / Ho, Jannie
一起来看看十二生肖如何准备庆祝农历新年!可爱有趣的图案作者以童趣的方式介绍了每一只生肖小动物为了农历新年做了什么特别的准备!” (Abridged and translated from catalogue)

Korean celebrations : festivals, holidays and traditions / Cho, Tina
这本书介绍了韩国的各种节庆,让你能够了解韩国的传统节日,庆祝方式和美味的食物! .” (Abridged and translated from catalogue)
Vietnamese children’s favorite stories / Tran, Phuoc Thi Minh

一系列有趣优美的故事告诉读者越南人注重的五个品德,分别是Nhan (慈悲)Le (礼节)Nghia (正义)Tri (智慧)、和Tin (信任)。其中一个特别的小故事也告诉读者为什么不能够在Tết Nguyên Đán时扫地。

Lunar New Year Around The World: Celebrate The Most Colourful Time Of The Year / Li, Amanda
读者能够了解世界各国如何庆祝农历新年。  (Translated from catalogue)

Home for Chinese New Year : a story told in English and Chinese / Wei, Jie
农历新年时一家人团聚的节日。Jia Jun的爸爸总是常年在外工作。现在爸爸终于要回家了……  (Abridged and translated from catalogue)


Maylasia NY photo

Photograph by our blog author’s family of celebrations in Maylasia!

Thanks folks, Gong Xi Fa Cai” 恭喜发财 – May you be happy and prosperous! 

– Blog by Wei Jing & Joseph

Happy Lunar New Year!

Read this post in Mandarin

This year on Sunday, 22 January many countries and communities celebrate Lunar New Year, which is the calendar based on the monthly cycles of the Moon’s phases! There are Lunar New Year festivals and celebrations in China, North Korea, South Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, in Chinatowns all around the world, and there are plenty of local events to celebrate in Aoteaora New Zealand too!

Chinese New Year Display and books inChinese languages at Johnsonville Library

Chinese New Year Display and books in Chinese languages at Johnsonville Library.

Library Events

Lunar New Year Mandarin Storytime 10.30-11.00am, Tuesday 24 January

Te Awe Library, 29B Brandon Street, Wellington

To celebrate the 2023 Chinese New Year, Te Awe is going to have a Mandarin storytime on the Tuesday 24 January!


Lunar New Year Storytime Tuesday, 31 January 10:30am

Johnsonville Library, 34 Moorefield Road, Johnsonville 

Celebrate the Lunar New Year with stories, songs, and rhymes in Mandarin, Hokkien, and English.​

欢迎参加Johnsonville图书馆组织的迎中国新年活动. 我们将用普通话, 福建话和英语讲述有趣的故事, 和以歌曲等形式开展与孩子们的互动活动

About the Lunar New Year

2023 is the Year of the Rabbit, in the Chinese zodiac. The rabbit is the fourth zodiac animal. He was a bit arrogant about how fast he was!  He used to tease his neighbour, the Ox for being slow. But one day, the Jade Emperor organised a party to determine the order of the zodiac, in order of who arrived first. The Rabbit arrived early, so he decided to go away and take a nap. When he woke up three other animals had beat him to the party, including the Ox! The rabbit is associated with kindness, quiet confidence and earnestness, which means rabbit might appear quite serious, but always moves forward with feeling and purpose. You can learn more by visiting Year of the Rabbit – Chinese Zodiac on


Artist impression of Bánh chưng and bánh tét wrapped up for cooking.

In Vietnam, Lunar New Year is marked by the Tết Nguyên Đán festival, which is associated with lots of important customs and wonderful foods! Bánh chưng and bánh tét are some of the tasty festival cuisines, made from glutinous rice, mung beans, pork. Bánh chưng is cooked in squares wrapped in lá dong leaves, and bánh tét is cooked in cylinders wrapped in banana leaves, which is then cut into wheel-shaped slices.

Illustration of hanbok

Artist impression of hanbok.

In South Korea and North Korea, Lunar New Year is known as Seollal and is celebrated through important traditions, games, food and often by wearing the beautiful colourful hanbok, which are usually worn on special occasions.

In Malaysia, Chinese people and other ethnic groups like Malay and Indian also celebrate Lunar New Year together. You can say “Selamat Tahun Baru Cina” to a Malaysian which means “Happy Chinese New Year” in Malay. Chinese people will have a reunion dinner on the Lunar New Year’s Eve. the children will receive “ang pao”, red envelopes with money inside, on the first day of the Lunar New Year from the elderly people, represent a kind of blessing and good luck. In return, children need to say some good words back to the elderly people, like stay healthy, stay happy, and “wishing you safety all the time

You can learn more about Lunar New Year is celebrated in other countries by reading some great articles from the list of lunar new year articles from, and by checking out some of the wonderful books listed below.


The 12 days of Lunar New Year / Lettice, Jenna
“Count out twelve ways to celebrate Lunar New Year!… This cheery addition to the 12 Days series celebrates tradition, culture, and family in the lead-up to Lunar New Year! Young readers and their caregivers will enjoy counting all the different ways they can engage with their communities and honour their ancestors…” (Abridged from catalogue)
Lunar New Year / Eliot, Hannah
“Introduces Lunar New Year, describing the food, decorations, and activities of the holiday.” (Catalogue)

Happy Chinese New Year! : A Festive Counting Story / Ho, Jannie
“Count to twelve with the zodiac animals as they get ready to celebrate Chinese New Year! Sweet, colorful illustrations introduce each of the zodiac animals as they bring special items to the celebration. Xīn Nián Kuài Lè! Happy Chinese New Year! The zodiac animals are ready to celebrate Chinese New Year with traditions and a big feast! Little ones can count to twelve as each animal prepares for the holiday…” (Abridged from catalogue)

Korean celebrations : festivals, holidays and traditions / Cho, Tina
“Korean Celebrations takes young readers on an exciting exploration of Korea’s colorful festivals and family celebrations–wonderful days that are filled with exciting activities and delicious foods.” (Abridged from catalogue)
Vietnamese children’s favorite stories / Tran, Phuoc Thi Minh

One of the special stories in this book explains why you shouldn’t sweep the house on Tết Nguyên Đán! Along with this story of Lunar New Year, there is a collection of wonderful stories connected to five great virtues of Vietnam: Nhan (Compassion), Le (Rituals), Nghia (Righteousness), Tri (Wisdom), and Tin (Trust).

Lunar New Year Around The World: Celebrate The Most Colourful Time Of The Year / Li, Amanda
“Find out all about Lunar New Year and how it is celebrated in different communities across the world!” (Catalogue)

Home for Chinese New Year : a story told in English and Chinese / Wei, Jie
“The Chinese New Year is a time for family reunions. This Chinese children’s story tells a delightful trip with lots of cultural details along the way! Jia Jun’s Dad worked out of town all year around. Now it’s time for him to come home…” (Abridged from catalogue)

Wellington City Libraries has children’s books and bilingual editions available in community languages from many different cultures!

Maylasia NY photo

Photograph by our blog author’s family of celebrations in Malaysia!

Gong Xi Fa Cai” 恭喜发财 — May you be happy and prosperous! 

– Blog by Wei Jing & Joseph

World Arabic Language Day 2022!

السلام عليكم

The 18th of December marks the United Nations Arabic Language Day. Did you know that there are over 300 million native Arabic speakers worldwide? This makes the Arabic language one of the most widely spoken languages in the word.

Arabic is spoken by a diverse range of people across the African continent and the Middle East, including Sudan, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, and many more. There are also people who live in New Zealand who come from these countries, or whose parents or grandparents come from these countries.

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