Faahi Tapu he Vagahau Niue | Niue Language Week 2023

Fakaalofa lahi atu!

This week, from Sunday 15 October to Saturday 21 October, we are celebrating Faahi Tapu he Vagahau Niue | Niue Language Week 2023.

Our theme this year is:

Fakatūleva e Vagahau Niue mo e Tau Aga Fakamotu ma e Tau Atuhau | Sustain Niue Language and Culture for Future Generations.

Niue Language and Culture

According to the Ministry for Pacific Peoples, “Vagahau Niue has been registered with UNESCO as an endangered language, so one of the challenges is the preservation of Vagahau Niue and Niue culture.”

Niue leaders and community groups are working hard to keep Vagahau Niue / Niue Language and Culture going so that the next generation (your children and your childrens’ children) can learn the unique knowledge of the island, its history, its people and their values.

This is tricky becasue there are only about 1,900 people who live in Niue. Most Niuean people live outside the country, over 30,000 in Aotearoa/New Zealand and about 6,000 in Australia!

Young New Zealand-born Niueans have said that Vagahau Niue and Niue Culture are avenues to stay connected with their parents and grandparents; it is their sense of identity.

For people who aren’t Niuean, you can support by learning about Niue culture and people who have  made some amazing contributions to Aotearoa/ New Zealand.


Join us at Newtown Library for a special Niue Language Week Storytime! We have special guest elder Mailigi Hetutu visiting Newtown Library this year to share some special stories from Niue and some childrens games. This session is most suitable for 4-6 year olds. Fakaalofa lahi atu ku a mutolu oti — everyone is welcome!

To get you excited for more stories in Niuean, head on over to our YouTube channel where you can watch and listen to our librarian Lewis (now the Pasifika Librarian at Porirua Libraries!) read a special bilingual story — Fifine pulotu mo e tofuā | The artist and the whale by David Riley — in English and Vagahau Niue.

This video was recorded as part of our celebrations for Faahi Tapu he Vagahau Niue back in 2021. We would like to thank Lewis and David for allowing us to share this beautiful story with you throughout Niue Language Week — fakaaue lahi, David! Make sure to check out the Reading Warrior website to find more stories of the Pacific from David and his collaborators.

You can find even more events on the official NZ Niue Language Week Facebook page and on the Ministry for Pacific Peoples website.

10 Fun Fast Facts about Niue

  1. Niue is the world’s largest raised coral atoll
  2. It was created 2-3 million years ago
  3. Niue is just one island
  4. It takes around two hours to drive around the entire island
  5. It has some of the clearest waters in the world because no rivers or streams run off into the ocean
  6. There is a prison on the island’s golf course
  7. Niue is one of the last countries in the world to see the sunset
  8. Niue has no traffic lights

Te Kupu Fakafeleveia | Useful Words

Vagahau Niue                      English
Fakaalofa lahi atu               Greetings/Hello
Fakaalofa atu                       Greetings/Hello
Fakaalofa lahi atu ki a mutolu oti              Greetings Everyone
Mutolu kia                            Goodbye – to those who are leaving
Nonofo ā mutolu kia          Goodbye – to those who are staying
Fakamolemole                     Please
Fakaaue Lahi oue tulou     Thank you

Language is a wonderful way to connect with others and celebrate diversity. You can learn even more phrases by using the Niue Language Cards from the Ministry for Pacific Peoples!

Tau tohi | Books

We have many Niue language books in our library collection, and you are most welcome to borrow them today! Here are some of our favourites, but you can also visit this link to find even more children’s books in Vagahau Niuē at your local library.

We are the rock / Riley, David
“In We are the Rock contemporary Niueans, historical and legendary figures tell their stories of focus, expression and achievement.” (Catalogue)

Tau kukukuku ha AkoTau kukukuku ha Ako = Ako’s hugs / Fuemana-Foaʿi, Lisa 

“Ako shows his affection towards his family by giving them hugs, including the family cat and his cuddly toy, Kuku, the fruit bat.” (Catalogue)

Of course you can! = E maeke he taute e koe / Hinge, Karen

“Jeremy is starting at a new school. He’s not too sure about how he will fit in. But the other students make him welcome and every time he thinks he can’t do something they say … “Of course you can!” That is until the day they go to the swimming pool.” (Catalogue)

Tau Matatohi faka-Niue Niue Alphabet with English TranslationTau matatohi Faka-Niue : Niue alphabet with English translation / Ikenasio-Thorpe, Bettina  

A short introduction to the alphabet! In the same series, we also have an introduction to colours and counting numbers!

The woman who was swallowed by a whale : a tale from Niue / Wilton, Briar
“The woman who was swallowed by a whale is a folktale ; Niue : rock of Polynesia is a short factual introduction to the country and culture.” (Catalogue)

Kuaka visits Niue / Peterson,Vanessa
“Uses a story format and the concept of bird migration to introduce places in Niue, food and customs.” (Catalogue)

Tales of Niue nukututaha : in Niuean and English / Feilo, Zora
“A collection of twelve stories in both English and Niuean set on the island if Niue, this is the author’s reinterpretation of myth, legend and storytelling from her native land. Each story is lavishly illustrated by Niuean artist Lange Taufelila.” (Catalogue)

The artist and the whale = Fifine pulotu mo e tafuā : a Niue legend / Riley, David
“Mataginifale is a Niue superhero with a difference. She isn’t known for her super powers, but for her super creativity. One day she had an argument with a whale that tested her thinking skills too.” (Catalogue)

Niuean for kids / Jahri Jah Jah
“Learn to speak words and phrases in Niuean. This book packs in many common words and phrases., including greetings, colours, numbers, body parts, animals and farewells. It is a great resource for anybody wanting to learn some basic words in Niuean. Suitable for ages 1+.” (Catalogue)

Niue stands alone / Tu tokotaha a Niue / tau tala tuai ne talahau e David Riley ; fakaliliu e Mele Nemaia ; tau fakatino mai ia Chad Robertson / Riley, David
“Have you ever done something so embarrassing you just wanted to hide? Fao and Huanaki know how that feels. They once did something embarrassing too. But they found a way to turn it into something good.” (Catalogue)

Coconut delight = Fakafetuiaga fiafia ha ko e Niu / Riley, David
“Some of the sweetest fruits in the world grow in Niue. There’s fua futi (bananas), fua mago (mangoes) and fua loku (pawpaw). But niu (coconut) might be the most important of them all. How did the niu get to Niue? Find out how in Coconut Delight, a bilingual legend from the Rock!” (Catalogue)

That’s it from us today! We hope you enjoy Niue Language Week 2023! Fakaaue lahi oue tulou.

New Programme: Cuentacuentos – Storytimes in Spanish

Buenas noticias! We are happy to announce a new programme called Cuentacuentos! These storytimes are delivered entirely in Spanish!

This is a perfect opportunity to practice your Spanish, so get ready for engaging storytelling and exciting activities that will entertain the whole whānau.

Starting from 2nd September, join us at Te Māhanga, Karori Library on the first Saturday of the month at 11am. Mark your calendar!

Books in Spanish

Whether you are a beginner or looking to expand your knowledge, we have got you covered! Wellington City Libraries are proud to offer a compelling collection of Spanish language materials, from books and magazines to language learning resources.

Follow the catalogue links to reserve the books you would like to the library branch of your choice! We have Spanish language books for young people and learners available at all of our library branches. The largest Spanish collections for young people are available at Karori Library, Johnsonville Library, Kilbirnie Library and Te Awe Brandon Library in the CBD.

For adult readers, we have large Spanish collections at Arapaki Manners Library, Johnsonville Library and Karori Library, with even more available to reserve!

Do you want to practice some phrases, read a story in Spanish? Check out these titles and get ready to say “estoy listo.”

First words

First words in Spanish / Grée, Alain
“Help your child to learn their first words in Spanish with this beautifully presented, interactive learning resource. Shown alongside colourful and appealing illustrations, the words are grouped into child-friendly themes such as colours, numbers, animals, food, holidays and shopping…” (Adapted from Catalogue)
“Get the whole family prepared for and excited about an upcoming trip by learning 100 travel-relevant Spanish words – from food and transport, to animals and weather… The perfect first step in learning the Spanish language and encouraging children to be curious about the world around them.” (Adapted from catalogue)

“This illustrated book for little children stimulates learning the names of animals.” (Catalogue)

Chapter books

Diario del wimpy kid : Un renacuajo / Kinney, Jeff
“Greg records his sixth grade experiences in a middle school where he and his best friend, Rowley, undersized weaklings amid boys who need to shave twice daily, hope just to survive, but when Rowley grows more popular, Greg must take drastic measures to save their friendship.” (Catalogue)

Hombre Perro y Supergatito / Pilkey, Dav
“Hombre Perro está de regreso, ¡y esta vez lo acompaña un compinche felino! El dúo tendrá que salir al rescate de una glamorosa estrella de cine desaparecida. ¡Una aventura perfecta para Hombre Perro y Supergatito! When a new sitter arrives and a movie star goes missing, Dog Man and Cat Kid investigate…” (Catalogue)

All-time Classics

Un pez, dos peces, pez rojo, pez azul / Seuss
“A story-poem about the activities of such unusual animals as the Nook, Wump, Yink, Yop, Gack, and the Zeds.” (Catalogue)

Donde viven los monstruos / Sendak, Maurice
“A naughty little boy, sent to bed without his supper, sails to the land of the wild things where he becomes their king.” (Catalogue)

Originally in Spanish

A veces el bosque.. / Nogués Otero, Alex
“A veces el bosque canta y es canció n. Otras, duerme. A veces el bosque sueñ a con fuego o inventa la lluvia y los paraguas. El bosque a veces bromea. A veces, imagina que eres un gigante.Un libro para leer en la corteza de los á rboles y en los misterios de tu mirada.” (Catalogue)

Gilda : la oveja gigante / Urberuaga, Emilio
“Gilda, la oveja gigante, tiene que escapar de la montaña en la que vive. Al llegar a la gran ciudad vivirá una increíble aventura. Pero, ¿encontrará Gilda un nuevo hogar?” (Catalogue)

Gustavo : el fantasmita timido / Drago, Flavia Z
“Conoce a Gustavo. Él es un fantasma y como a cualquier ser paranormal le encanta hacer lo que le es normal: atravesar paredes, hacer volar objetos y brillar en la oscuridad. También le encanta tocar el violín. Pero Gustavo tiene un problema. Él es muy, muy tímido, y aunque su deseo más grande es tener amigos, nunca se ha atrevido a hablarle a ninguno de los monstruos en su pueblito. Con el Día de Muertos cerca, ¿se atreverá Gustavo a dejar que lo vean?” This picture book is about finding the courage to make friends.” (Catalougue).

Ready for your language adventure?  ¡nos vemos en la biblioteca!

Announcing Nohinohi Reorua — Bilingual Storytimes!

Kia ora Pōneke! We are excited to let you know about a brand new children’s programme coming soon to our whare pukapuka — Nohinohi Reorua

What is Nohinohi Reorua?

Nohinohi reorua means “bilingual little ones” in te reo Māori, and it is the name for the new bilingual storytime programme coming to six of our library branches after the April school holidays finish. Find out more below, or visit our event calendar to see all of the days, times and locations!

Join us for Nohinohi Reorua | Bilingual Storytimes at your local library!

Nohinohi Reorua! Whāngaia tō Tama Toa ki te pānui pukapuka! E toru tekau meneti pakiwaitara, rotarota, waiata hoki i roto i te reo Māori me te reo Ingarihi, nō ngā kōhungahunga me ō rātou mātua kaitiaki.

Get your superhero hooked on books with Nohinohi Reorua — our special bilingual storytimes! Featuring stories, rhymes, and songs in te reo Māori and English, these 30-minute sessions are open to anyone, and are recommended for tamariki aged 2-6 with their caregivers.

When and Where?

Nō reira, nau mai, haere mai ki ōu tātou whare pukapuka! Come on down to the library to enjoy Nohinohi Reorua with us — everyone is welcome!

April School Holidays: Te Ao Kararehe | The World of Animals!

The April school holidays are just one-and-a-half short weeks away! This year, Wellington City Libraries is inviting you to enter Te Ao Kararehe: The World of Animals with us all the way through the holidays, from the 8th to the 23rd of April.

Have you ever thought that perhaps you might like to meet a llama at the library? What about a penguin? What if we asked you to design your own animals — would they have claws and scales, or bright purple fur? Is it possible to use LEGO® to build a realistic habitat for a mythological beast? How good would a walking, talking animal be at playing D&D? Whatever your interests, something wild, mysterious, fascinating or exciting awaits you in Te Ao Kararehe: The World of AnimalsVisit this page to see the whole calendar, or read on to find out more about what’s happening at your local library or community centre these holidays!

What awaits you in the wilds of Te Ao Kararehe?

Animal Antics Musical Storytime

Join us for these animal-themed storytimes where your multi-talented librarians will incorporate many different musical instruments into their storytelling! Stick around when the stories and songs are done to get up-close and personal to learn about the instruments you heard.

Recommended for tamariki aged 4+ with their caregivers.

Baby Rock and Rhyme: Cubs ‘n’ Bubs Special Edition!

Come on down to the library for these fun and free sessions for parents and carers to interact with their babies through songs and stories — this time with a special animal-themed twist! Rhyme, rhythm, repetition and music are the building blocks of language for babies. Stick around afterwards to chat with our librarians and meet other new parents in your community!

Recommended for pēpī aged 0-2 with their caregivers, but older siblings are also most welcome.

Be Ready In An Emergency! (For Kids)

Learn what to do in an emergency like an earthquake or tsunami with an expert from the Wellington Regional Emergency Management Office (WREMO)! This is an interactive group activity for children aged 5-12. Registrations are required — to book your spot, talk to a librarian or phone Karori Library on 476 8413.

Children’s Librarian’s note: How is this event related to animals, you ask? Well, have you ever heard of ‘turtling’ during an emergency? Okay, okay, the link is fragile at best, we just wanted the opportunity to have our friends at WREMO come for a visit!

The Bad Smell Hotel: Book Launch and Celebration

Karori Library and The Cuba Press warmly invite you to the book launch of The Bad Smell Hotel, by father-daughter duo Rajorshi Chakraborti and Leela (age 11)!

The duo came up with the idea of the book during the 2020 lockdown, and their story is set in the not-too-distant future, where society is contending with mysterious bouts of uncontrollable farting! The forthcoming book is marvellously illustrated by Dan Mills.

Join us at the library for this very special celebration where you can meet the authors and find out more about the wonderful worlds they have created together!

Coastal Ecology LEGO® Laboratory

Ahoy, kids and whānau! Come join the team from the Wellington University Coastal Ecology Lab to learn incredible facts about your local marine ecosystem: from coral and fishes, all the way to mighty sharks! Kids then can build their very own sea critter or underwater habitat with our LEGO® collection! The most creative design will win a prize, and all models will be displayed at Island Bay Library, along with descriptions written by their creators.

Recommended for tamariki aged 5+ with their caregivers.

Create-a-Critter Flipbooks

For our event today, tamariki will create a booklet made of pages cut into thirds, each featuring pictures of different animal body parts that they have drawn or found in magazines. As the pages flip around, the body parts will combine in ways both abstract and hilarious!

Recommended for tamariki aged 5+ with their caregivers.

Create Cuddly Creatures

Bring your old socks along to the library and transform them into a fuzy friend! We’ll provide the thread, needles, and extra accessories for your creature creation, as well as guidance from an expert librarian. Just make sure you’ve washed your socks, it may be difficult to give them a bath afterwards!

Recommended for tamariki and rangatahi aged 8+ with their caregivers.

Critter Creation: Recycled Art

Join us at Newlands Community Centre to turn junk into art! Bring along your own recycling stash to add to our supply, and create the critter of your dreams. Build a lion, a lemur, a llama, or something wild from your imagination!

Recommended for tamariki aged 5+ with their caregivers.

Cuddly Toy Animal Sleepover!

Dress up in your favourite onesie or your PJs, bring a cuddly toy animal, and join us for music, stories and crafts! Those who can bear (geddit?) to may leave their cuddly toy for a special overnight stay in the library — come back in the morning to find out what mischief and hijinks they got up to!

Recommended for tamariki of all ages with their caregivers.

Kids’ Book Club: Animal Edition!

Join us at Wadestown Library for our monthly Kids’ Book Club, where we’ll be talking about the books we love and enjoying an animal-themed craft activity too!

Recommended for tamariki aged 6-12 with their caregivers.

LEGO® Habitats

Join us for these special variant sessions of our popular Let’s Go LEGO® programme! Tamariki will design and assemble an ideal habitat for their favourite animals, living or imagined. There will be small prizes for the most creative habitats as well as for the most realistic or viable ones! Completed models will be displayed in the library following the event, alongside descriptions written by their creators.

Recommended for tamariki aged 5+ with their caregivers.

Llamas! At the Llibrary

Yes, you heard us — get up close with real-life llamas at your local library! Join us for a special outdoor storytime where your llama-loving librarians will warm you up with some stories, then introduce you to our expert Stephen and a couple of camelids — a llama and an alpaca!

Since these are outdoor events we may have to postpone it if weather is poor on the day. Keep an eye on our website and Facebook page for any updates.

Recommended for tamariki aged 4+ with their caregivers.

*Note: The event at Johnsonville Library has been postponed to Thursday, 20 April at 2pm due to wet weather.

Make Your Own Animal Mask

Make your own animal mask at the library! We will provide lots of different mask templates and heaps of craft supplies so that everyone can create their own unique mask to take home. Animal masquerade ball, anyone?

Recommended for tamariki aged 4+ with their caregivers.

Paws and Claws: Pompomania!

This fun craft is no pig-deal! Come on down to He Matapihi Library and we’ll help you make your first pompom animal. Just bring your enthusiasm and can-do attitude — it’s going to be a paw-some time!

Recommended for tamariki aged 7+ with their caregivers. Registrations are required as space is limited, contact the library at 801 4122 to book your place.

The Pet Files: Zine Making

Kia ora kids! Bring in a photo, or draw an illustration, of your whānau pet (or your dream pet!). Then, join in at the library to create your very own fact file zine about your pets, with fun question prompts, and plenty of time to share our favourite pet stories! Once you’re done, you can also choose to have your Pet Files zine catalogued and added to the library collection for your friends and whānau to borrow. Sweet!

Recommended for tamariki aged 6+ with their caregivers.

Poké Pets Pompomania

Anime lovers unite! We got chu doing something fun these school holidays. Come along to Poké Pets Pompomania to make a Poké animal like no other. Create adorable Poké pet pompoms and their pompom Pokéball containers at the end of the session. We have instruction sheets you can bring home too.

Recommended for tamariki aged 8+ with their caregivers. Registrations are required as space is limited, contact the library at 801 4122 to book your place.

Spanish Language Day | Día del Idioma Español

Join us on the 22nd of April for Spanish Language Day at Karori Library! Whether you are a Spanish speaker, a language aficionado, or just love learning about other cultures, you are welcome at this family-friendly celebration.

At Spanish Language Day at Karori Library you will experience a range of activities in Spanish — storytelling, an art exhibition, crafts, and the launch of our new Spanish-language book collection. ¿Hablas español? Sí!

Te Ao Kararehe Animal Storytime

You think storytimes are just about stories? Not so in Te Ao Kararehe! Journey to the tangled heart of the forest, soar to the greatest heights of the mountains, and dive to the inkiest depths of the ocean in these continent-spanning storytimes like no other. If you’re lucky you may even get to craft a souvenir to take home as a memento of your travels in the World of Animals.

Recommended for tamariki of all ages with their caregivers.

Te Ao Kararehe Family Movies

Looking for a purrr-fect chill activity to do in the library? Why not join us for free movie time! It’s definitely a sloth-mode vibe so don’t forget to bring your favourite animal plushie to snuggle. All movies screened will have an animal theme, and will be rated either G or PG. Registration aren’t required; popcorn and beanbags aplenty will be supplied!

Technicolour Furbearers

Welcome to the world of the technicolour furbearers, where nothing is as it seems! At this fun workshop, tamariki will select a pre-prepared model of a fur-coated animal, and decorate their chosen critter with lush paint, shiny gems, colourful fabric, and funky textures.

Recommended for tamariki aged 6+ with their caregivers. Registrations are required.

Under the Sea: Animal CRAFTivity

Whale hello there! Celebrate your school holiday weekend at He Matapihi Library as we create some fun under-the-sea crafts together. Perfect for all ages and stages!

The Wolves of Welton: An Introduction to D&D

Join us for an introduction to the world of Dungeons and Dragons — no prior RPG experience required. We’ll provide the Dungeon Master, dice, books, pack of ravenous wolves, gear, and knowledge — all you need is enthusiasm!

This session is intended to introduce brand new and novice players to Dungeons & Dragons and tabletop roleplaying games, learning from our experienced librarians in a beginner-friendly environment. Intermediate or experienced players might find this one-shot too simplistic and undemanding.

Recommended for tamariki aged 8-12. Registrations are required: sign up below!

Festive Family Fun at Your Library!

Meri Kirihimete, Pōneke!

It’s that time of year again! The festive season for many is just around the corner, which means our libraries (and librarians!) are getting ready to celebrate with stories, songs, teddy bear sleepovers, and of course a whole bunch of books. So why not grab the family, jump in your fuzziest pyjamas (or cheeriest Christmas costume) and head on down to your local library to join in on the fun?

All of our Festive Family Fun events have a slightly different flavour depending on where they’re happening, but in general you can expect to enjoy stories, songs, crafts, and maybe even a visit from a certain portly gentleman at some locations! Stories from all over the world and in different languages also feature at our special trilingual event at Newtown Library. Visit each event link below to find out more.

In addition to the events below, all of our libraries will have beautiful displays of special holiday books from our Celebration Collection. These books will be on the shelf for a limited time only, so make sure to grab your copies today!

What’s on for the December holidays?

Monday 12 December

Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library, 3.30 – 4.30pm — Teddy Bears’ Christmas CRAFTerschool and Sleepover

Tuesday 13 December

Johnsonville Library, 3.30 – 4.30pm — Teddy Bears’ Christmas CRAFTerschool and Sleepover

Thursday 15 December

Wadestown Library, 6.00 – 6.30pm — Family Christmas Storytime

Friday 16 December

Ruth Gotlieb (Kilbirnie) Library, 5.30 – 6.00pm — Teddy Bears’ Christmas Sleepover

Saturday 17 December

Karori Library, 11.00am – 12.00pm — Family Christmas Storytime

Monday 19 December

Te Awe Library, 2.00 – 2.30pm — Festive Family Fun: Baby Rock and Rhyme

Tuesday 20 December

Newtown Library, 10.30 – 11.30am — Trilingual Storytime and Christmas Crafts!

Wednesday 21 December

Te Awe Library, 10.30 – 11.00am — Family Christmas Storytime

Thursday 22 December

Te Awe Library, 10.30 – 11.00am — Festive Family Fun: Baby Rock and Rhyme

Vaiaso o le Gagana Sāmoa 2022

Samoan Language Week Banner

Tālofa Lava! 

Sāmoa Language Week | Vaiaso o le Gagana Sāmoa will be celebrated this year from Sunday, 29 May 2021 until Saturday, 4th June 2022. This is a chance for all New Zealanders to celebrate Sāmoan language, Sāmoan culture in New Zealand and around the world, and 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!

Sāmoa has a unique historical relationship with New Zealand. It is the only country that New Zealand has a Treaty of Friendship. The Treaty of Friendship between Sāmoa and New Zealand is like a mutual project to support Tagata Sāmoa (Sāmoan people) to have better opportunities. 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 Samoa is:

Fa’aāuāu le Folauga i le Va’a o Tautai – Continue the Voyage with Competent Wayfinders of the Ocean.

2022 is also a significant year for the Samoan community, being the 60th anniversary of Samoa Independence. Communities are organising activities to commemorate this milestone, which coincides with Samoa Language Week.

Events for Samoa Language Week

As part of Samoa Language Week, there will be a Pasifika Pool Party! Find out more about the council events here.

Our friend the wonderful librarian Lewis from Johnsonville Library presents a special story 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!

Find Out More:

You can also visit your local library and borrow some amazing books to learn more about Samoan culture, and practice the language. All our libraries have Samoan books and 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 Samoan 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 Samoan 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!

Samoan heroes / Riley, David
“A collection of inspirational stories of achievers who have Samoan 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 Samoa / Riley, David
“Fanene Peter Maivia – Son of Samoa is the remarkable story of the first Polynesian to become a star of professional wrestling. Fanene’s life began in Samoa and he took Samoa 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…

Samoa / Aiono-Iosefa, Sarona
“Did you know that the English word ‘tattoo’ is supposedly derived from the Samoan word ‘tatau’? Find out about the traditional methods still used by Samoans 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 Samoan 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 Samoa and independent Samoa (formerly Western Samoa).” (Catalogue).

Samoa & Tuvalu / Guile, Melanie
This book contains information about the history, culture and people of Samoa and nearby Tuvalu. A great book to have just in time for Samoan 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

Kids’ Activities Under Red Settings

To keep our young people and vulnerable communities safe under Red settings, we’re moving most of our programmes for children under the age of 12 and their families online! This is because even though our libraries are open, lots of our kids’ programmes, like CRAFTerschool, Code Club, and Baby Rock and Rhyme, involve lots of people getting very close together, and it’s just too tricky to provide the required social distancing for young people who can’t yet be vaccinated.

Soon, we will be starting up a whole bunch of activities and programmes, some of which you can do online, and some of which you will be able to do in a contactless way in the library, but in the meantime we thought it would be a good idea to remind you about all the awesome online resources and activities you can do with us online. If you love stories, arts and crafts, music, movies, and fun activities to do with your family, we’ve got you covered!

We have so many really cool resources available in our eLibrary! If you want to have a browse yourself you can check our our Kids’ Guide or have a look through what’s available on our Kids’ Home Page, or just read on… Continue reading

Fun things to do on National Teddy Bear Picnic Day

We’re at the end of Term 2 and the school holidays are almost here. In fact, they’re starting this Saturday. But that’s not the only thing happening this Saturday!

This Saturday the 10th of July is National Teddy Bear Picnic day, so we thought we’d welcome you into the school holidays with some activity ideas for both you and your teddy.


Idea number one: Take your teddy bear on a picnic!
Set up a picnic blanket in your garden, or go on down to the Wellington Botanic Gardens and find a spot to sit down and eat with your teddy. If the weather is miserable we suggest moving your picnic inside. For an extra-special indoor picnic we recommend building a blanket fort to eat it in. Everyone knows teddy bears love blanket forts!

Idea number two: Come to our Teddy Bear Storytime at Te Awe!
In honour of this very special day we’ll be having an extra special storytime at Te Awe Library. Bring your teddy bear along and settle in for a fun session of stories, songs, and bear themed crafts. We hope to see you there at 2pm!

Idea number three: Make something with your teddy bear!
If you’re going out on a picnic you’ll need to have something to eat. If you’re a beginner baker then Time for Tea is a good cookbook to start you off. Or if you and your teddy have been reading a book by Enid Blyton together and you like the sound of the tasty treats she describes in her books then head towards Jolly Good Food for some literary and delicious recipes. We also have a list of great websites with recipes, tips, and tricks over on our Fun Stuff page.

It’s not just food you can make! If you feel like putting together some decorations for your picnic, perhaps you might like to have some Fun with Paper? Or if you have some yarn lying around you might want to check out My First Pompom Book for some exciting ideas. There’s also this blog post on other craft books available through our elibrary. Let your creativity run wild!

Idea number four: Read a bear-themed book!
There are a lot of books out there perfect for you and your teddy bear to read together, and we’ve picked out some of our favourites:

A bear called Paddington / Bond, Michael
“Mr. and Mrs. Brown first met Paddington, a most endearing bear from Darkest Peru on a railway platform in London. A sign hanging around his neck said, “Please look after this bear. Thank you” So that is just what they did. From the very first night when he attempted his first bath and ended up nearly flooding the house, Paddington was seldom far from imminent disaster. Jonathan and Judy were delighted with this havoc and even Mr. and Mrs. Brown had to admit that life seemed to be more filled with adventure when there was a bear in the house.” (Catalogue)

Also available as an eBook

The best-loved bear / Noonan, Diana
“When all the children take their teddybears to school for a best-loved bear contest, Tim is embarrassed because his teddy is so worn out. Suggested level: junior.” (Catalogue)

The everywhere bear / Donaldson, Julia
“The Everywhere Bear has a home on a shelf. But he doesn’t spend very much time by himself, For each boy and girl in the class is a friend. And he goes home with one of them every weekend. The Everywhere Bear has a wonderful time with the children in Class One, but one day he gets more than he bargained for when he falls unnoticed from a backpack and embarks on his own big adventure! He’s washed down a drain and whooshed out to sea, rescued by a fishing boat, loaded onto a lorry, carried off by a seagull …how will he ever make it back to Class One?” (Catalogue)

There’s a bear in the window / Pitman-Hayes, June
“There’s a bear in the window of the house across the street. It’s tall and round, with great big feet! I wonder what I would see if I were that bear, and that bear were me? From singer-songwriter June Pitman-Hayes comes a story told in both English and Māori that celebrates the great teddy bear hunt, that entertained thousands of children during lockdown in 2020″–Publisher information.” (Catalogue)

We’re going on a bear hunt / Rosen, Michael
“Brave bear hunters go through grass, a river, mud, and other obstacles before the inevitable encounter with the bear forces a headlong retreat.” (Catalogue)

Winnie-the-Pooh / Milne, A. A.
“Meet the world’s favourite bear in the delightful collection, in which Pooh gets into a tight place, nearly catches a Woozle, and discovers the wrong sort of honey – amongst other things.” (Catalogue)

Also available as an audiobook, an eAudiobook, and an eBook

Matariki 2021 at your libraries!

Tēnā koutou katoa, e te whānau!

From 2 – 10 July, Wellington City Libraries is celebrating Matariki with a range of events, crafts, storytelling sessions, and experiences for whānau and tamariki all over our city. Don’t forget to also check out the Wellington City Council website to find out about the huge range of exciting activities taking place outside our libraries during Matariki.

Why do we celebrate Matariki? The star cluster Matariki (also known as the Pleiades) reappears in the dawn sky about Aotearoa in late May or early June. The new moon following the rising of Matariki signals the Māori New Year. Customarily, this was a time to remember the deceased of the past year and to plan for the new year. Today, Matariki has been revived as a celebration of people, culture, language, spirituality, and history. It is a time for whānau and friends to come together to reflect on the past 12 months and look forward to the year ahead. When you add your star to our purapura whetū, we invite you to send a message to someone you love, or reflect on the year that has just passed.

Some of the awesome crafty things you can find to make Matariki art with at your local library

Nau mai haere mai ki te whare pukapuka ki te whakanui i a Matariki! Join us for these fabulous events happening at library branches across the city:

Beginner’s Guide to Whakapapa

Join us for this short talk aimed at giving people with little to no experience researching their whakapapa some useful tips when navigating the resources accessible on the WCL website. Adults are very welcome.

  • Tuesday 6 July, 12.30pm at Te Awe Brandon St Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Awe

Explore the Stars in VR

Celebrate Matariki by joining us at Te Awe Library to take turns exploring the night sky in virtual reality. The stars have never seemed quite so close to touch! This event is great for mātua, rangatahi, and tamariki alike.

  • Friday 9 July, 2.00 – 4.00pm at Te Awe Brandon St Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Awe

Kōhunga Kōrero o Matariki

Nau mai haere mai ki te whare pukapuka ki te whakanui i a Matariki! Pakiwaitara i roto i te reo Māori. E 30 meneti pakiwaitara, rotarota, waiata hoki i roto i te reo Māori nō ngā kōhungahunga me ō rātou mātua kaitiaki. Join us for these special Matariki storytimes in te reo Māori! Featuring stories, songs and rhymes in te reo Māori, these 30-minute storytimes are open to anyone, and are recommended for children aged 2-6 years and their caregivers.

  • Friday 2 July, 10.30am at Johnsonville Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Waitohi
  • Tuesday 6 July, 10.30am at Newtown Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Omārōrō
  • Friday 9 July, 10.30am at Johnsonville Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Waitohi

Let’s Go LEGO®: Matariki Whetū!

Let’s build – let’s explore – let’s create! Come along to your library to create your LEGO® masterpiece. These sessions all feature special Matariki-themed activities as we celebrate this festive time with our friends and whānau. Our LEGO® activities are perfect for tamariki of all ages to participate in with their whānau.

  • Friday 2 July, 3.30pm at Khandallah Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Tari-kākā
  • Sunday 4 July, 11.00am at Te Awe Brandon St Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Awe
  • Thursday 8 July, 3.30pm at Cummings Park Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Korimako
  • Friday 8 July, 3.30pm at Johnsonville Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Waitohi

Matariki Storytimes

Come along and celebrate Matariki at your local whare pukapuka, or library, with Matariki-themed stories and waiata with our librarians. Our storytimes are family-friendly and fun for all ages. Weekday sessions are all at 10.30am; weekend sessions are all at 2.00pm.

  • Friday 2 July, 10.30am:
    • He Matapihi Molesworth Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o He Matapihi
    • Wadestown Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Ōtari
  • Saturday 3 July, 2.00pm:
    • Johnsonville Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Waitohi
    • Te Awe Brandon St Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Awe
  • Monday 5 July, 10.30am:
    • Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Takapū o Patukawenga
    • Ruth Gotlieb (Kilbirnie) Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Awa-a-taia
  • Tuesday 6 July, 10.30am:
    • Brooklyn Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Moe-rā
    • Karori Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Māhanga
  • Wednesday 7 July, 10.30am:
    • Cummings Park (Ngaio) Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Korimako
    • Karori Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Māhanga
    • Newtown Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Omārōrō
    • Ruth Gotlieb (Kilbirnie) Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Awa-a-taia
  • Thursday 8 July, 10.30am:
    • Arapaki Manners Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Arapaki
    • Island Bay Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Tapu Te Ranga
    • Miramar Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Motu-kairangi
    • Te Awe Brandon St Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Awe
  • Friday 9 July, 10.30am:
    • He Matapihi Molesworth Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o He Matapihi
    • Wadestown Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Ōtari
  • Saturday 10 July, 2.00pm:
    • Johnsonville Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Waitohi

Matariki Storytimes: Virtual Edition!

Whakarongo mai, tamariki mā, pākeke mā! Celebrate Matariki wherever you are with our Matariki online storytimes. He korero paki i te reo Māori ēnei; these stories are in te reo Māori. The stories will be streaming live on our Wellington City Libraries Facebook page, and will remain up for your enjoyment throughout the holidays!

  • Thursday 8 July, 7.30pm — online!
  • Friday 9 July, 7.30pm — online!
  • Saturday 10 July, 7.30pm — online!

Pakiwaitara Matariki: Bilingual Storytelling

Join us at your local whare pukapuka for these special bilingual storytimes in celebration of Matariki! Featuring stories, songs and rhymes in te reo Māori and English, these 30-minute storytimes are open to anyone, and are recommended for children aged 2-6 years and their caregivers.

  • Saturday 3 July, 2.00pm at Karori Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Māhanga
  • Saturday 10 July, 11.00am at Cummings Park Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Korimako

Puoro Matariki: Stories and Music

Come along to Johnsonville Library on the first Tuesday of each month to enjoy a half-hour mash-up of stories and music. Literary and musical worlds will collide as we introduce your budding muso (and budding reader, of course!) to a world of rhythm, rhyme, song and dance from across the globe using stories, percussion instruments, and loads of imagination. Join us on the 6th of July for this special Matariki-themed session for all ages!

  • Tuesday 6 July, 10.30am at Johnsonville Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Waitohi

Whetū Toi: CRAFTerschool

Join us for this special after-school Matariki craft session! Make your very own Matariki constellation using one of our designs, or let your creative juices flow and create your own!

  • Monday 5 July, 3.30pm at Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Takapū o Patukawenga
  • Wednesday 7 July, 3.30pm at Miramar Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Motu-kairangi
  • Wednesday 7 July, 3.30pm at Johnsonville Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Waitohi

Whetū Toi: CRAFTivity

Bust the indoor boredom with a free Arts & Crafts session for tamariki, rangatahi and the whole whānau on Saturday mornings from 10.30am – 11.30 at He Matapihi Molesworth Library. At this session, we’ll be exploring Matariki with a simple craft project to be enjoyed by all!

  • Saturday 3 July, 10.30am at He Matapihi Molesworth Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o He Matapihi

Nō reira, nau mai, haere mai ki ōu tātou whare pukapuka ki te whakanui i tēnēi wā tino hirahira! So come on down to your library to celebrate this special time!

Unicorns, Dragons and Dinosaurs at Khandallah Library!

On the last Friday of every month, the lovely librarians at Khandallah Library put on a special storytelling experience for the community. Every month there is a different theme, and different activities for the whole family to enjoy!

This month, on Friday 28 May at 10.30am, the theme for Khandallah Library’s special storytime is Unicorns, Dragons and Dinosaurs… Oh My! Come and enjoy the adventures of these fascinating and magical creatures. There will be funny, sweet, and touching stories to share, as well as the opportunity to try some gentle ‘unicorn yoga’ stretches, and colourful and creative crafts to try. Storytimes are fun and free, last about half an hour, and are aimed at preschool-aged children (three and four years old), but younger and older siblings are always welcome!

Drawn image of a baby dinosaur hatching from its shell, a small orange dragon flying in the sky, and a unicorn happily munching on some grass.

Join us on Friday at Khandallah Library for a magical storytime like no other!

You can find out what’s happening for Khandallah Library’s special storytime each month by checking the event calendar online, asking your local librarian, or giving the library a call on (04) 479 7535.