Te Wiki o te Reo Māori: Celebrate with Baby Rock and Rhyme

Kia ora, e te whānau! Te Wiki o te reo Māori is just around the corner — there are just three days to go (kia toru ngā rā e toe ana) before the celebrations begin!

This year is extra special because 14 September marks the 50th anniversary of the Māori Language Petition, an event that led to many of the kaupapa we have today, including Te Wiki o te Reo Māori!

Click the button below to get more celebration ideas from the Te Rangaihi Reo Māori, the movement! You can sign up for updates and opportunities to get inspired and learn more.

Te Rangaihi Reo Māori The Movement

Baby Rock & Rhyme – Te Reo Māori Sessions 

During Te Wiki o te Reo Māori, at a number of our libraries, you can join us for special reorua/bilingual Baby Rock and Rhyme sessions!

This is a free session for parents and carers to interact with their pēpē through waiata, rhyme, rhythm and music. Recommended for children aged 0 – 2 years and their caregivers.

Johnsonville Library, 34 Moorefield Road, Johnsonville, Wellington 6037

  • Monday, 12 September, 10:30 – 11AM
  • Wednesday, 14 September, 10:30 – 11AM

Newtown Library, 13 Constable Street, Newtown, Wellington 6021

  • Tuesday, 13 September, 10:30 – 11AM

Cummings Park Library, 1 Ottawa Road, Ngaio, Wellington 6035

  • Tuesday, 13 September, 10:30 – 11AM

Karori Library, 247 Karori Road, Karori, Wellington 6012

  • Thursday, 15 September, 10:30 – 11AM
  • Friday, 16 September, 10:30 – 11AM

To help you get ready for Te Wiki o te Reo Māori, here are some pukapuka (books) for pēpē & whānau!

Ngā tae = Colours / Brown, Kitty
Presenting the beautiful and important bilingual Reo Pēpi series, from Kitty Brown and Kirsten Parkinson at Reo Pēpi Tāpui in Dunedin. The six board books in this series intended for babies and early readers use simple, formulaic language and gorgeous illustrations to gradually introduce the reader to new words and concepts. A must-have for any parent who wants their child to grow up immersed in te reo (Stephen’s summary)

Mihi / Bishop, Gavin
This beautiful baby book introduces ideas of me and my place in the world in the shape of a simple mihi or pepeha Mihi / mihimihi / pepeha: introducing yourself and making connections to other people and placesMihi is a simple book to share with babies and talk about their whanau and place in the world. Repeating colours and shapes show the connections between waka, mountain, iwi through to mama, papa and the baby reader. (Catalogue)

Kei hea a Spot / Hill, Eric
“Join Sally, Spot’s mum, on her search to find where the mischievous puppy is hiding. A lift-the-flap story. Suggested level: junior.” (Catalogue)




Te Wiki o te Reo Māori 2021

Kia ora e te whānau! Te Wiki o te reo Māori is here! This year, we want as many people as possible to take part in the Māori Language Moment, a special time at 12pm on Tuesday 14 September where we can all come together to kōrero (speak), whakarongo (listen), ako (learn), tākaro (play), pānui (read) and waiata (sing) in te reo Māori with our friends, whānau, and community. Make sure you check out some of the awesome ideas from Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori (the Māori Language Commission), and get yourself signed up to take part!

Wellington City Libraries has heaps of resources that can help you take part in your own Māori Language Moment. Here are just a few of them! You might be wondering where all the books are — don’t worry, we’ll get to recommending some awesome books in and about te reo Māori a little later in the week!


Did you know that there are books that can help you learn te reo Māori on OverDrive and Libby? There are a whole range of different books to choose from, including some books that are more meant for grown-ups, and others meant for kids. Here are a few of our favourites for you to check out:

Overdrive cover At the Beach te reo Maori – Ki Te Tahuna, Pam Holden (ebook)

“He pai ki te nuinga o nga tangata te toro atu ki te tahuna, te mahahoki o nga mea hei kite, hei mahi kei reira. He aha nga mea pai ki akoe ki te tahuna?” Kupu Aronga (Sight Words) ki | kite | maua | te

Most people like to visit the beach. There are so many different things to see and do there. What do you like to do at the beach? (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Awatea and the Kawa Gang, Fraser Smith (ebook)

It’s the holidays, and Awatea is staying with his grandparents at the beach. He’s got lots of time and freedom to explore, visit the treehut and have adventures with Carrot, the talking parrot. Awatea catches fish, cooks over a campfire and spends a stormy night in the treehut with Carrot for company. When fending off some territorial magpies and keeping an eye on a pair of leopard seals, Awatea and Carrot notice signs of poachers. So Awatea and his friends at the beachwork out a plan to stop them. (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover A Quick Picnic te reo Maori – He Haerenga Whanau, Pam Holden (ebook)

“Kua haere koe mo tetahi haerenga? He aha nga taputapu paimo te haerenga? Kei tenei whanau nga mea tika mo te haerenga. Panuitia tenei e pa ana ki o ratou harenga.” Kupu Aronga (Sight Words) Anei | kino | pai | te

Have you had a picnic? What things do you need for a picnic? The people in this family have everything that they need for a good picnic. Read about what happens at their picnic. (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover A Maori Word a Day, Hemi Kelly (ebook)

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 colloquial words in Maori today, A Maori Word a Day is the perfect way to kickstart your te reo! (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover My First 300 Words in Maori, Stephanie Collins (ebook)

Learn your first 300 words in Māori in this colourful book for children. This book introduces children to their first words in Māori. Learn the Māori vocabulary for animals, fruit and vegetables, everyday things, nature, colours, shapes, greetings, and much more, all with beautiful colour photos and illustrations throughout. (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Learn te reo Māori with Language Nut

Your library card gives you access to a whole range of resources to help you learn languages, and one of them, Language Nut, is meant just for kids! It includes a course in te reo Māori that is aimed at absolute beginners, featuring simple songs, stories, and games as well as some more traditional lessons so that you can learn on your own, or with an adult or friend to help you! You also earn points as you go, so you can put yourself against other learners from all over the world! It’s heaps of fun. Just visit this link and put in your library card number to get started!

A screenshot of the first stage in the Language Nut te reo Māori course, featuring simple greetings in both written and audio form.

Visit Language Nut with your library card to get started on your journey to ako reo Māori!

So what are you waiting for? There’s no time like the present to get started — or continue — on your journey in te reo Māori! Karawhiua atu!


Waitangi Day 2021

Image: Reconstructing the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi by Marcus King from Archives New Zealand on Flickr.

Waitangi Day is a special day in New Zealand’s history. This year it will be celebrated on Saturday 6th of February. Waitangi Day is a public holiday. Therefore, Wellington City Libraries (except He Matapihi Molesworth Library) will be closed Saturday 6th February. All Wellington City Libraries’ branches will be closed Monday 8th February, which is observed as a Waitangi Day Holiday.

image courtesy of Ōriwa Haddon from Archives New Zealand on Flickr.

Image: The Signing of the Treaty of Waitangi by Ōriwa Haddon from Archives New Zealand on Flickr.

What is Waitangi Day?

Waitangi Day marks the anniversary of the initial signing of the Treaty of Waitangi. on 6th February 1840. The Treaty is the founding document of the nation and an agreement, in Māori and English, that was made between the British Crown and about 540 Māori rangatira (chiefs).

Did you know? The first Waitangi Day was not celebrated until 1934, and it was made a national public holiday in 1974

What’s on this Waitangi Day?

  • Click here to find out what other events are on in Wellington to celebrate Waitangi Day.

Where can I find information about Waitangi Day?

New Kids Fiction! Check out these awesome new books from our kids fiction trolleys

Conrad Cooper’s Last Stand by Leonie Agnew

“Conrad Cooper needs a favour. He’s just found out about Tāne, the god of the forest, and he’s decided that Tāne is the perfect guy to solve Conrad’s family problems. After all, the more high-profile gods probably have huge waiting lists, right? In return, Conrad will do anything, no matter how much trouble it causes. But will a Māori god listen to the prayers of a ten-year-old Pākehā boy? And does Tāne really exist? Set in 1978 against the Bastion Point occupation”–Back cover.




You Choose….Mayhem at Magic School by George IvanoffImage Courtesy of Syndetics

You are an ordinary kid – or so you think. Strange things start to happen. You make a rabbit appear from underneath your Teacher’s hat. Then you dream about a mystical diamond and a mysterious old woman with long white hair. It turns out you have magical powers… Do you try to keep your talents hidden, or do you go off to magic school? You choose…





George and the Unbreakable CodeImage Courtesy of Syndetics by Lucy and Stephen Hawking

George and his best friend Annie haven’t had any space adventures for a while and they’re missing the excitement. But not for long . . .
Seriously strange things start happening. Banks are handing out free money; supermarkets can’t charge for their produce so people are getting free food; and aircraft are refusing to fly. It looks like the world’s biggest and best computers have all been hacked.
George and Annie will travel further into space than ever before in order to find out who is behind it. – (www.Goodreads.Com)





There Will Be Bears by Ryan GebhartImage Courtesy of Syndetics

Thirteen-year-old Tyson sneaks off with his roughneck, but ill, grandpa to go on his first elk hunt, amid reports of a stalking man-eating grizzly.






Chicken Mission: Danger in the Deep Dark WoodsImage Courtesy of Syndetics by Jennifer Gray

Professor Rooster needs a new elite chicken squad. But the three feather-brained young chickens he is sent are hopeless. The youngest, Agent Cluckbucket, is the worst of the lot! Unfortunately, it’s too late to recruit any-birdy else, and danger lurks in the deep dark woods. Will Agent Cluckbucket and the squad be able to work to defeat the greatest enemies of birdkind?


Cool events at the Newlands Community Centre

Have you ever visited the Newlands Community Centre? It’s really cool and they always have fun stuff happening. Here’s what’s coming up:

– Come along to the ‘Legends of Maui story time’ on Monday 10th, 17th, and 24th June from from 9.30–10.15am. snuggle up and listen to stories of Maui’s legendary adventures

– Join us for a weaving session with Ngā Hau e Whā o Paparārangi Marae’s rāranga (weaving) group. We will be making putiputi (flowers) and Taonga Takaro (toys). A koha towards the rāranga group would be appreciated. Wednesday 12 June, 6.30 – 8.30pm

NZ Post Book Awards: Non-Fiction

Here are the list on Non-Fiction finalists for the New Zealand post Children’s Book Awards:

100 Amazing Tales From Aotearoa by Simon Morton & Riria Hotere

Based on the TVNZ television series “Tales from Te Papa” and contains 2 DVDs including the original TV series. Find out about quirky NZ stories featuring some strange and precious artifacts.





Kiwi: the real story by by Annemarie Florian & Heather Hunt

With lots of illustrations a bold rhythmic verse describes the North Island brown kiwi in action in the bush, and a non-fiction narrative provides readers with added insight into kiwi biology and behaviour





Taketakerau, The Millennium Tree by Marnie Anstis, Patricia Howitt & Kelly Spencer

The story of a child who listens to Koro and Grandma as they weave a tale about the life and times of the ancient pūriri tree Taketakerau, the settlement and development of New Zealand, and world events that happened over the last 2000 years





At the Beach: Explore & discover the New Zealand seashore by Ned Barraud & Gillian Candler

Find out all about the New Zealand seashore in this amazing new book with fantastic illustrations. The book includes a removable, waterproof, quick-reference guide to common seashore animals





From these 4 great books a winner will be announced on June 24th. You can vote for a winner too – in the Children’s Choice Award (and you’ll go in the draw to win $500 of book vouchers for you and your school).


Waitangi Day: Festival

Awesome Waitangi Day events and activities for you to do!


This week is Waitangi Day – 6th February. It’s a public holiday, which means you get the day off school to celebrate New Zealand.

There’s some great stuff happening, the coolest is Te Ra O Waitangi – a Waitangi Day festival around the waterfront area. Events and activities starting from 10am.



For Kids there will be activities and entertainment at WHAREWAKA-A-TEA:

10am: Taonga Pu- tangitangi – make a musical instrument and learn to play it. Make a waka from harakeke/flax and driftwood Airbrush tattoos and balloons for kids

11am and 11.50am: Storytelling with Apirana Taylor

12 noon: Taonga Pu- tangitangi – make a musical instrument and learn to play it. Make a waka from harakeke/flax and driftwood Airbrush tattoos and balloons for kids


But there’s more…

WAKA ACTIVITIES (Lagoon and inner harbour)

10am: Have a go at waka ama with Wellington Tenths Trust and Palmerston North Ma- ori Reserve

11am: Nga- Waka Te Rerenga Ko-tare and Te Hononga display on the harbour and a race along the Frank Kitts Park waterfront edge

at 11.30am

12.30pm: Nga- Waka Te Rerenga Ko-tare and Te Hononga salute from harbour



From 10am: Raranga Ro-pu- Manaia – Flax-weaving showcase and learn how to make putiputi/flower. Solander Gallery exhibiting ‘The next chapter/Te Ara Whakamua’. Paintings by various artists in residents from Matiu Island. Department of Conservation have brought geckos to view

1–3.30pm: Waka ko-rero (at 1.30pm, 2.30pm, 3.30pm) by Neavin Broughton from Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust



12.30pm: Public address – Hon. Mahara Okeroa, Chairman of the Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust and Her Worship the Mayor of Wellington Celia Wade-Brown. Nga- Taonga Mai Tawhiti Kapa Haka

1pm: Toni Huata and Nga-ti Po-neke Kapa Haka

2pm: Downtown Community Ministry Ukelele Crew. Te Kura Kaupapa Ma-ori o Nga- Mokopuna Kapa Haka. Indigenous Melbourne-based SKIN Choir

3.30pm: Tomorrow People

4.30pm: Ladi6

6pm: Salsa at Sunset



10am–2pm: Ki-o-Rahi 4 Wha-nau Traditional Maori Sports games – exhibition and have a go. Hangi available for purchase.

9pm: Films by Starlight: Boy (M)



1pm, 2pm, 3pm, 4pm: Treaty of Waitangi Floortalks: Nau mai, haere mai! Learn about New Zealand’s founding document

with a 30-minute tour through our Treaty-focused exhibitions. Limited to 20 people a session

12noon–2pm and 3–5pm: Wailing Chamber



All events and activities are free and fun – everyone’s welcome. Festival info plus a map of the locations here.


Matariki Storytelling at Tawa Library

Bring your children to Tawa Library to hear special stories read by people from our community, about Matariki and beyond.No Charge. All welcome.

Matariki.webMonday 25 June, 10.30am – Kura Goldsmith

Tuesday 26 June, 11.30am – Amanda Dobson

Wednesday 27 June, 11.30am – Toa Waaka

Thursday 28 June 11.30am – Hone Harawira

Friday 29 June, 10.30am – Liz Langham

Presented by Mana Tiaki

Celebrating Matariki 25 – 29 June

Nau Mai, Haere Mai!

Matariki Stories

Matariki is just around the corner. If you want to find out more about it and how we New Zealanders celebrate our Maori New Year, Matariki by Melanie Drewery and Bruce Potter is a very good picture book to read. It has very lovely illustrations and also explains what Matariki is and what people do to celebrate it in a very simple way. It’s a delight to read so check it out!
Also The Seven Stars of Matariki by Toni Rolleston-Cummins tells another legend about how the star cluster came into being. It’s very entertaining to read.