Children’s Programmes Returning at Orange!

Warning: this post is intended to be read by parents and other adults. Kids read on at your peril!

Kia ora koutou! We are so excited to let you know that next week, from the 7th of June, some of our popular children’s programmes are returning to our libraries! It’s been some time since we have been able to run these events in a consistent way for you all, so we thought we’d lay out the current schedule for you below. We can’t wait to see you there!

With COVID -19 still in the community, please remember that all of these days and times are subject to staff availability, and we may need to change them from time to time. The library’s event calendar will always have the right days and times!

We’re so excited to be welcoming back our Storytimes and other events for tamariki and their whānau!


What’s on and where?

Here is the current programmes schedule for Wellington City Libraries. We’ll be adding to this over the coming weeks, so keep checking back or subscribe to our eNewsletter for the most up-to-date info:

Cummings Park Library

He Matapihi (Molesworth St) Library

Johnsonville Library

Karori Library

Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library

Miramar Library

Newtown Library

Ruth Gotlieb (Kilbirnie) Library

Te Awe (Brandon St) Library

Wadestown Library


Frequently-Asked Questions

Do I need to wear a mask while attending an event at the library?

Yes — if you are over 12 years of age, you must wear a mask while visiting one of our libraries, including while you are attending a library event. Our staff will also remain masked. For more information, please visit our COVID-19 FAQs page.

Why haven’t you restarted every programme you used to run pre-COVID?

We do aim to bring our wonderful programmes back across the whole library network, but we’ve chosen to restart at our larger branches first so that we can take the opportunity to give newer staff some valuable experience working with their colleagues before they take that knowledge back to their home library to share with their community. Keep an eye on our event calendar and social media platforms to keep up to date with programmes resuming at our other locations.

I feel uncomfortable visiting if I know there is going to be a large group of people there. What are you doing to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19?

At all times we are adhering to New Zealand Government guidelines for the running of events in public venues. We will be continuing, as far as possible, to encourage physical distancing between groups of attendees; we will continue to require the use of facemasks for those visiting our libraries; and we will be carefully cleaning spaces and equipment used for our public programmes between sessions. You can help too, by ensuring that you stay at home if you or your child are feeling unwell or have recently been in contact with a COVID-positive person. If we all work together, we can continue to keep our community safe!

I still don’t think I will come to storytime in person just yet. Is there some way our whānau can still participate in library activities without physically coming to a library?

You’re in luck! On our YouTube channel, thanks to the generosity of New Zealand publishers throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, you can find playlists of special storytimes and Baby Rock and Rhyme sessions to keep your whānau entertained without needing to come to the library. Also, the Johnsonville Library Facebook page is a great place to find videos for sensory activities, and musical and crafty sessions to keep your little ones engaged.

I would like some more information about a programme at my local library. Who should I ask?

You can always get directly in touch with your local library by giving them a call or by emailing us. Alternatively, you are welcome to get in touch with the Children’s and Youth Services Coordinator directly with your queries.

Railways, Trains and Destinations

This week is National Rail Safety week in both New Zealand and Australia (8 – 14 August 2022).

TrackSAFE Foundation NZ is promoting a superstition that might help keep pedestrians safe at railway crossings:

A superstition we're on board with | KiwiRail

We hope that by “Blowing to the left and right” near railway tracks will be the magic you need to keep you and your friends safe!


James, the red engine, from the Thomas the Tank Engine stories by Rev. W Awdry. Image: Jamie Boorman

Trains, and going on train journeys, have always had a magical quality to them. So many books have been written about trains or with a train journey as a central part of the book – think “Thomas the Tank Engine”,  “The Railway Children”, or the Hogwarts Train in the Harry Potter series. Trains can clatter over high bridges, run underground through long tunnels and can even go at lightning speeds on high-tech electromagnetic tracks.

Train FAQ

What is a Train Spotter?

A Train Spotter is a rail enthusiast that really likes watching trains! They will often write down the numbers of passing trains as a hobby and compare their notes with other enthusiasts. A Train Spotter can also be called A railfan, rail buff or train buff, railway enthusiast or railway buff… or ferroequinologist!

What’s the largest model railway in New Zealand?

The Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT) has a Main Trunk Line model railway that’s a must see if you’re visiting Auckland. The model showcases the history and engineering feats of the North Island Main Trunk Line; including the Hapuawhenua Viaduct and the twisting Raurimu Spiral. Watch this You Tube clip to see this amazing model in action and learn about the NZ’s incredible railway history.


What is the fastest train in the world?

File:Shanghai maglev train.jpg - Wikimedia CommonsThe fastest train in the world is  Shanghai Maglev. It is a magnetic levitation train (maglev) that operates in the city of Shanghai, China. This 504-foot-long train can fit 574 passengers and roars to life over the tracks at a top speed of 431 km/h – wow!

Can trains crash?

undefinedYes! But they are still considered to be one of the safer forms of transport, ahead of car and motorbike travel. New Zealand’s worst train disaster was the Tangiwai Disaster. At 10.21 p.m. on Christmas Eve 1953 the Wellington–Auckland night express plunged into the flooded Whangaehu River at Tangiwai, in the central North Island, after a lahar from Mt Ruapehua washed away Tangiwai Bridge. Of the 285 passengers and crew on board, 151 died.

New Zealand author David Hill has written a historical novel exploring the environmental tragedy from the perspective of a young person, check it out here.



Let’s take a train journey through the Wellington City Libraries Catalogue:

Trains / Jenner, Elizabeth
“Explore the wonder of the railway and see how train travel has developed through time. Trains are used across the world to transport goods and passengers. They can ride rails underground, move at high-speeds and travel between countries. In this book, you will discover the wonder of the railway and see how train travel has developed through history- from simple mining wagons to high-speed machines and beyond.” (Catalogue)

Thomas the Tank Engine : the complete collection / Awdry, W
“This volume brings together all 26 books from the classic Railway series in one volume, with a foreword by the author. The stories are brought to life with the original illustrations, beautifully restored and reproduced.” (Catalogue)
The railway children / Nesbit, E.
“Family! Friendship! Adventure! Mystery! Roberta, Peter, and Phyllis have their lives turned upside down when their father mysteriously has to go away. The railway becomes the centre of their new life, but little do they know what wonders and changes it will bring to them – maybe even the answer to Father’s disappearance …Oxford Children’s Classics present not only the original and unabridged story of The Railway Children in a beautiful new edition, but also help you to discover a whole world of new adventures with a vast assortment of recommendations and activities. Ages 7+” (Catalogue)


Two little trains / Brown, Margaret Wise
“Two little trains head west, travelling through hills and mountains and over rivers and plains.” (Catalogue)
How trains work / Gifford, Clive
“From the fastest to the longest, the oldest to the newest, through tunnels and up mountains, take a fascinating ride through the world of trains in this brilliant new book from illustrator James Gulliver Hancock.” (Catalogue)

Skimbleshanks / Eliot, T. S.
“We must find him or the train can’t start! All aboard as Skimbleshanks, the Railway Cat, stars in the third picture-book pairing from Arthur Robins and T.S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s cats, set on the Night Mail train where Skimble won’t let anything go wrong.” (Catalogue)
Train / Demarest, Chris L
“The amazing sights of a train ride through the countryside whiz by in this deceptively simple rhyming book. Little listeners will be mesmerized by this rhythmic, rhyming ride-perfect reading for kids on a roll!” (Catalogue)
Night train, night train / Burleigh, Robert
“Told in rhyming text, a train speeds through the night, revealing the sights and colors along the way to its young and sleepy riders.” (Catalogue)
The space train / Powell-Tuck, Maudie
“Jakob has found the long-lost SPACE TRAIN! But it’s old, battered and broken. With the help of Granny and Derek the robot chicken, can Jakob fix the train? A stunning intergalactic adventure, packed with fun flaps and out-of-this world illustrations.” (Catalogue, abridged)
Where’s Thomas? : a Sodor search-and-find adventure
“Sodor is a busy, bustling place with plenty of things for a team of Very Useful Engines to do. Join Thomas and all of his friends as they travel all across the Island and see how many hidden things you can find on each colourful page!” (Catalogue)

Te ‘Epetoma ō Te Reo Māori Kūki ‘Āirani: Cook Islands Language Week 2022

Kia Orāna! It’s Te ʻEpetoma ō Te Reo Māori Kūki ʻĀirani | Cook Islands Language Week 2022!

Pacific Language Weeks are about all New Zealanders learning more about Pacific people that make up a big part of our population and are some of our closest neighbours!

The overarching theme for the 2022 Pacific Language Weeks is sustainability. Cook Islands Language Week has been celebrated every year in Aotearoa since 2012, with events running this year from Sunday 31st July to Saturday 6th August.

This year’s theme is:

‘Ātuitui’ia au ki te Oneone o tōku ‘Ui Tupuna | Connect me to the soil of my ancestors.

Help us celebrate this special time for the community by learning more about the unique culture, language and history of the Cook Islands through the information, books, and other resources below!

Where are the Cook Islands?

They are located in the South Pacific neighbouring Sāmoa, Niuē and French Polynesia. There are 15 islands altogether with a total land area of 240 square kilometres.

How many people speak Cook Islands Māori, and where do they live?

Te Reo Māori Kūki ʻĀirani (Cook Islands Māori) refers to several dialects (slightly different versions of the same language) spoken in the Cook Islands, with the most common language dialect being spoken in Rarotonga. In New Zealand, about 80,500 people are Cook Islanders, or of Cook Islands descent. Peoples of Cook Islands descent make up a significant portion of Te Whanganui-a-Tara (Wellington) and Aotearoa’s Pasifika population, with significant numbers living in our Northern suburbs and nearby Porirua. (Source: 2018 Census)

Why are they called the Cook Islands?

The area was first settled around 1000CE by Polynesian people who probably came from Tahiti, which is where the famous navigator Tupaia would come from over 700 years later. You can learn more about Tupaia here: Tupaia | Te Ara Encyclopaedia of New Zealand. They gave the islands names like Rarotonga, Aitutaki, and Rakahanga.

The first European contact with the islands took place in 1595, but the Cook Islands name comes from the British navigator Captain James Cook, who arrived first in 1773 and again in 1777. Strangely enough, the name ‘Cook Islands’ first appeared on a Russian map in the 1820s.

There is still a lot of debate today about whether the Cook Islands should take a new name that reflects the Polynesian history and heritage of the area. Visit Britannica Online to learn more about the history and people of the Cook Islands: Cook Islands | Encyclopaedia Britannica


Books

Visit your local library and have a look at our amazing books to learn more about Cook Islands cultures and practice the language. At Newtown Library we also stock the Cook Islands News.
If you don’t have a library card, you can sign up for free!

Te ‘anga’anga ‘ōu ‘ā māmā = Mum’s new job / Tainui, Bronwyn
“Tiāki finds it difficult when his mother goes back to work, but discovers it is fun to help out at home by making lunch.” (Catalogue)

Kua kitea ‘a māmā = Finding mum / Long, Don
“In the supermarket, a little boy retraces his footsteps in order to find his mum.” (Catalogue)

Cook Islands heroes / Riley, David
“Cook Islands Heroes tells the inspirational stories of achievers who have Cook Islands ancestry. It includes legends like Ina, Maui, Ngaru and Ru; historical figures such as […] Alistair Te Ariki Campbell; and contemporary heroes Kevin Iro […] The book is written to inspire young Cook Islanders, to encourage reading and promote literacy.” (Publisher description)

‘Ei for the day / MacGregor, Jill
“Yvette and Kiikii wear an ‘ei and an ‘ei katu when their dance group performs at the Saturday Morning Market in Rarotonga​​.” (Catalogue)

Also, visit this link to find even more children’s books in Te Reo Māori Kūki ‘Āirani at your local library.


More Resources

This is a good time to learn some Te Reo Māori Kūki ʻĀirani. Here are some useful phrases to help get started. Pronunciation is mostly similar to Te Reo Māori – so don’t be shy, give it a go!

Kia orāna – Greetings/Hello
ʻAere rā / ʻĒ noʻo rā – Goodbye (to those going/to those staying)
ʻInē? – Please
Meitaki maʻata – Thank you very much
Tatarāʻara – Sorry
Inā ake ana – Excuse me
Pēʻea koe/kōrua/kōtou? – How are you?
Meitaki maʻata au/māua/mātou – I am/We are well

There are lots of cool things happening across the country to celebrate this time. For more information on events and ideas on how to celebrate, visit these websites:

Beyond the Page: Week One Round-up!

Kia ora folks! It’s been a wonderful Week One of Beyond the Page, our fantastic literary festival for tamariki and their whānau.

Beyond the page is running during the July school holidays, and from the 9th to the 24th of July, our libraries are hosting a huge array of totally free events for kids and families, from sculpture workshops to VR experiences, and everything in between!

Rather than bore you with descriptions of all the fabulous stuff that’s been happening, we thought we’d share with you some of our favourite photos from events around the city. Here goes!

Before the Page: Creative Workshops with VIVITA

Before the official kick-off of the festival, on the opening weekend of the holidays we hosted our friends at VIVITA Aotearoa for two wonderful workshops at Miramar and Te Awe Libraries — Cardboard Costumes and Serious Sculpting:

A young person wearing a blue sweatshirt draws on the pommel of a stylised sword made from cardboard

A young creator inscribes something (magical runes, perhaps?) on the blade of a cardboard sword they have made at Cardboard Costumes at Miramar Library.


Four small sculpted figurines sit on a green cutting mat. From left to right, they appear to be a sentient brick wall, a one-legged, one-eyed monster, a white block-like creature with tentacle-like arms, and a frog-like creature with tentacles coming out of its mouth

Meeting new friends at Serious Sculpting at Te Awe Library!


Beyond the Page: Bricks, Boxes, Stop Motion, and More!

The first ‘official’ days of Beyond the Page saw a whole bunch of awesome events. Some highlights for us were Bricks and Giggles at Brooklyn Library; Zine Machine at Arapaki Library, Box Bonanza at Wadestown and Te Awe Libraries, and Stop Motion Stories at Karori and Kilbirnie Libraries:

Several colourful LEGO constructions sitting on a table. Among them are several blue-and-green landscapes, a house, a fire engine, and a garden.

A selection of wonderful LEGO® creations from Bricks and Giggles at Brooklyn Library

A large group of children gathered around a table. On the table are a range of craft resources, magazines, pens and pencils.

A cluster of keen zine-makers at Arapaki Library

Learning to animate some aquatic friends at Kilbirnie Library

Karori Library becomes a film studio for a day!

 

Spotlight on: Stories From Our Place

A big highlight for us all was being visited by the wonderful Sophie from Zealandia | Te Māra a Tāne for Stories From Our Place at Cummings Park Library. The torrential rain didn’t stop our intrepid explorers from venturing out into the bush behind the library for an awesome (if slightly damp) experience!

We started in the library…

…met some cuddly new friends…

…ventured out into the wild weather…

…and enjoyed the beautiful sights of Cummings Park in the rain!

We can’t wait to share with you more Beyond the Page goodness once Week Two is done and dusted as well! Find out more at the official Beyond the Page website.

Puppets & Puppeteers

via GIPHY

With puppets and puppetry featuring in our Beyond the Page Festival July holiday activities, we thought we’d explore all things PUPPET!

A puppet is a ‘moving doll’. They are often used in theatre performances, kids’ TV shows and films and often use strings or other devices to make the puppet move and look alive. Some puppets are very simple (like sock puppets), but others are more complicated and need lots of practise to use. The person who works the puppet and makes it move is called a puppeteer.

Simple Puppets that you can make at home

FPin on Paper Dollsinger Puppet: As the name suggests, you simply pop the puppet over your finger/s and get wiggling! Another form of finger puppet is the two-finger puppet that has holes for two fingers which act as the puppet legs.

Sock puppet: Find an old sock and glue funny eyes and noses onto the foot of the sock. Then wear it like a glove with the thump acting like a jaw.

Glove Puppet: Similar to a finger puppet, but larger. The puppeteer uses his or her fingers and hand to work the puppet.

Paddle Puppet: The puppet is on the end of a cardboard or wooden paddle, or is even the paddle itself. When the puppeteer wiggles the paddle back and forth, it seem that the puppet moves by itself.

Complicated Puppets

Jumping Jack: A puppet where the arms and legs of the puppet are joined to a string. When the string is pulled down, the arms and legs go up.

Rod Puppet and Bunraku: The puppet is worked with rods joined to the puppets arms and legs, while another puppeteer moves the head and sometimes the mouth. Bunraku is a special type of Japanese rod puppetry.

Make a Shadow Puppet Theatre Book – Stories In Paper | Shadow puppets, Shadow theatre, Puppets

Shadow Puppet Theatre. Image: Pinterest.com

Shadow Puppet:  A cut out figure on a rod is held in front of a light. Its shadow is projected onto a screen. The puppeteer moves the puppet around, giving it some life.

Marionette: This puppet is moved around with strings that hang from above the theatre. This is one of the more complex types of puppetry and is hard to master as some marionettes can have up to thirty strings.

Ventriloquist Figure or Dummy: This puppet is one of the few where the audience sees the puppeteer. The puppeteer moves the puppets head arms and mouth with his hands as well as with levers. The performance usually takes the shape of a conversation between the dummy and the puppeteer. The puppeteer speaks normally, then puts on a different voice when the puppet is supposed to be talking. His voice seems to be coming from his stomach (from the old Latin word: “venter”). His lips are not moving, but the puppet’s lips may move, so it seems as if the puppet is talking.


Jim Henson and the Muppets

Jim Henson's Legacy: A "Rainbow Connection" with UMD | Flickr

Jim Henson with the Muppets. Image: Flickr

Jim Henson (1936 – 1990) ) was one of the most well-known and innovative modern puppeteers. He is the creator of the Muppets – think Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Cookie Monster, and Elmo.  He made up the word Muppets as a blend of “marionette” (see above) and “puppet” and created the Muppets while still a student at university. The Jim Henson Museum is in his hometown of Leland, Mississippi and has an assortment of original Muppet characters on display. One of the bridges in Leland is also named “The Rainbow Connection” after the popular song from the 1979 film The Muppet Movie.




Check out the catalogue and get making and performing with puppets these holidays!

Puppets / D’Cruz, Anna-Marie
“An exciting collection of step-by-projects that readers can do at home on their own or in the classroom.” (Catalogue)

Sock Puppet Theater presents The three little pigs : a make and play production / Harbo, Christopher L
“Hear ye! Hear ye! Sock Puppet Theater Presents The Three Little Pigs! Now it’s a snap to make simple, adorable puppets, key props, and the perfect stage for bringing this classic fairy tale to life. But that’s not all! As an added bonus, this book also includes a fun starter script, helpful acting and performance tips, and clever suggestions for making your play truly unique. With Sock Puppet Theatre, you hold in your hands everything needed to get your puppeteer career started on the right foot!” (Catalogue)

Making shadow puppets / Bryant, Jill
“In this book in the Kids Can Do It series, kids can create traditional shadow puppets from around the world.” (Catalogue)

The most excellent book of how to be a puppeteer / Lade, Roger
“Tap students hidden talents with these clever books filled with step-by-step instructions for entertaining friends and family at home or at school.” (Catalogue)

Recycling things to make and do / Bone, Emily
“Provides step-by-step instructions for a range of craft activities using recycled materials. Suggested level: primary, intermediate.” (Catalogue)

I am Jim Henson / Meltzer, Brad
“Presents the creator of the Muppets and describes the creative spirit, performance talents and beliefs in the goodness of people that inspired his career and how he helped create the iconic programs Sesame Street and The Muppet Show.” (Catalogue)

The Muppets character encyclopedia / Shemin, Craig
“The most sensational, inspirational, muppetational character encyclopaedia ever! Play the music, light the lights, and meet all your favourite characters from the Muppets in The Muppets Character Encyclopaedia. From Animal to Zoot, meet over 200 of the most memorable and best-loved Muppet characters from the 1970s to the present day. […] The Muppets Character Encyclopaedia is a must-have for new fans eager for background on their new favourite Muppets as well as older fans wanting to relive the original TV series.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Make New Stories Beyond the Page in the July School Holidays!

Kia ora folks! We are so incredibly excited to announce that the hotly-anticipated Beyond the Page festival is returning this July!

During the school holidays, from the 9th to the 24th of July, libraries across the Wellington region are hosting over 100 awesome, FREE events for tamariki and their whānau, from puppetry, poetry, and costume design experiences through to VR experiences, nature walks, sculpting, and stop motion animation workshops!

There’s something on every day of the holidays, so join us to experience the ‘other’ side of libraries — the side that fizzes and pops, is creative, exciting, and adventurous!

Beyond the Page is a collaboration between Wellington City Libraries, Hutt City Libraries, Upper Hutt City Libraries, Kāpiti Coast District Libraries, and Masterton District Library. You can view the full event calendar and find out more about the festival and our wonderful presenters on the Beyond the Page website, or you can follow the festival on Facebook for regular updates.

Read on to find out about some of the excellent events happening in Wellington City Libraries branches:

Vivita X Beyond the Page: Graphic Novel Series

We’re partnering with Wellington innovation studio VIVITA Aotearoa to bring you the Graphic Novel Series — a group of three workshops focussed on bringing the characters and story of a graphic novel to life, from sculpture and miniatures through to cardboard costumes!

These events are suitable for tamariki aged 9-15, and registrations are required.

  • Cardboard Costumes | Miramar Library | Saturday 9 July, 10am – 12pm (Register here)
  • Serious Sculpting | Te Awe Library | Sunday 10 July, 10am – 12pm (Register here)
  • Miniature Modelling | Johnsonville Library | Sunday 17 July, 10am – 12pm (Register here)

Toro Pikopiko Tales

Have you ever wanted to become a puppeteer? Join the Toro Pikopiko Tales Roadshow to explore an interactive gallery of puppets – from traditionally carved kare-tao puppets, through to puppets inspired by Māori rock art, taniwha, and stories of the land. In this fun-filled workshop, you’ll become the puppeteer!

These events are suitable for tamariki aged 5+ with their caregivers, and registrations are required.

  • Karori Library | Tuesday 19 July, 10 – 11am (Register here)
  • Johnsonville Library | Tuesday 19 July, 2 – 3pm (Register here)
  • Ruth Gotlieb (Kilbirnie) Library | Thursday 21 July, 10 – 11am (Register here)
  • Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library | Friday 22 July, 10 – 11am (Register here)

Stories From Our Place with Zealandia

Listen to bilingual stories about our special Aotearoa plant life and animals, then discover more about them on a guided nature walk with a Zealandia educator! Tamariki registered for the first session can explore Zealandia with their whānau free of charge. At the Cummings Park Library session, we will instead be exploring the unique flora and fauna of the beautiful Cummings Park.

These events are suitable for tamariki of all ages with their caregivers, and registrations are required.

  • Cummings Park (Ngaio) Library | Tuesday 12 July, 2 – 3pm (Register here)
  • Zealandia Te Māra a Tāne | Tuesday 19 July, 1.30 – 3pm (Register here)
  • Zealandia Te Māra a Tāne | Tuesday 19 July, 3 – 4.30pm (Register here)

Poetry Workshop with Sara Hirsch

Have you always wanted to learn how to write poetry? Have you been writing for ages and would love the chance to get some tips and tricks? Whatever your background and experience, everyone is welcome at this inclusive workshop, from newbies to the poetry obsessed.

This event is suitable for tamariki aged 8-12 with their caregivers, and registrations are required.

  • Newtown Library | Friday 15 July, 2.30 – 4.30pm (Register here)

String Bean Puppets: Nan and Tuna

Nan and Tuna have been friends for 80 years and now it is time for one last adventure together. But before they leave they will need to find someone to care for the river. Join us for this special bilingual puppet show presented by Anna Bailey of String Bean Puppets!

This event is suitable for tamariki of all ages with their caregivers.

Due to the interference of COVID-19, this event has been rescheduled. The new date and location are:

  • Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library | Saturday 16 July, 11.00am – 12.00pm (More information)


…and even more!

The holidays are going to be chocka with even more wonderful events, including Bricks and Giggles (LEGO® building galore!), Stop Motion Stories (fun and simple animation workshops!), Box Bonanza (what can you make armed with nothing but a cardboard box and your imagination?), Zine Machine (make your own mini-book!), and Experience VR (enter a whole new world of story through the magic of VR). Registrations are required for some of these events, so make sure you get in quick to secure your place!

Visit the links above to see all the details, or view the whole schedule on the Beyond the Page website. We can’t wait to see you there!

Mānawatia a Matariki!

“Mānawa maiea te putanga o Matariki
Mānawa maiea te ariki o te Rangi
Mānawa maiea te mātahi o te tau

Celebrate the rising of Matariki
Celebrate the rising of the lord of the sky
Celebrate the rising of the New Year

For the first time in Aotearoa, Matariki will officially be celebrated as a rā whakatā ā-ture (public holiday) on Friday 24 June 2022.

It is an opportunity for all people of Aotearoa to come together and reflect on the year that has passed, celebrate the present, and plan for the future.”(Mānawatia a Matariki)

In Aotearoa, the Matariki star cluster can be seen for most of the year, but in May the stars set below the horizon and during June or July each year, they rise again. The rising of Matariki marks the start of the Māori new year and is a time of remembrance, peace, and celebration. Traditionally nine stars were visible. These are named individually with each star signifying an important aspect of Te Ao Māori. Tohunga (skilled experts) would observe how the stars looked in the sky and make predictions on the coming year according to their appearance.

Celebrating Puanga

Many Māori in the west of New Zealand observe the rise of Puanga about two weeks earlier than Matariki. Puanga can be seen in the eastern sky and it signals the approach of dawn as if “the sun itself is pushing it from behind”. Puanga is celebrated by our Wellington mana whenua, Te Āti Awa as well as other Taranaki Iwi, Whanganui Iwi, Ngāpuhi, Rēkohu/Wharekauri and Moriori from the Chatham Islands. “Puanga kai rau” means Puanga of abundant food and gives credit to the fruits which Puanga brings.

The Matariki cluster is known throughout the world by many names including the Pleiades star cluster. In Greek ancient mythology, the Pleiades were seven sisters. The sisters’ names were Alcyone, Celaeno, Electra, Maia, Merope, Sterope (or Asterope), and Taygete. Puanga is known by some other cultures as Rigel.


Te Iwa o Matariki (The Nine Stars of Matariki)

Matariki – signifies reflection, hope and our connection to the environment

Pōhutukawa – connects with those who have passed on

Waitī – ties to bodies of fresh water and the food within it

Waitā – ties to the ocean and the food within it

Waipuna-ā-rangi – associated with the rain

Tupuānuku – is for food that grows within the soil

Tupuārangi – is for food that grows up in the trees

Ururangi – is the star associated with the winds

Hiwa-i-te-rangi – the youngest, is the wishing star that also ties into our aspirations for the coming year


Matariki Connections

Competition for Ages 512

Matariki is a good time to reflect on our lives and the world around us, celebrate the present, and think about the future.

In this competition, discover and draw what one star connection means to you! Use the above descriptions to choose an aspect of life associated with a star, and then illsutrate what it means to you!

The competition runs from 21–30 June.

Find out about the star connections here, or on the entry form at libraries and community centres. You can enter online at wcl.govt.nz/matarikiconnections

Win some lovely pukapuka!




Hot off the press!

The Astromancer: The Rising of Matariki. / Ihimaera, Witi
“The Astromancer is looking for four new apprentices to learn about Matariki and the Maramataka calendar. She chooses three boys and an orphan girl, Aria, who will come only if she can bring her smelly dog. Aria, though, is bored by the lessons, and she doesn’t want to be told what to do. But these are dangerous times, and Ruatapu the Ravenous is about to threaten the safety of the whole tribe. Will Aria step up to save them? Also available in te reo Maori as Te Kokorangi.” (Catalogue)
Te Kokorangi: Te Aranga o Matariki. / Ihimaera, Witi
“E kimi ana a Te Kokorangi i etahi pia hou tokowha hei ako i nga korero o Matariki me te maramataka. Kowhiria ana etahi tama tokotoru, me tetahi kotiro, he pani, ko Aria te ingoa. Tohe ana a Aria kia haere ano ko tana kuri haunga i tona taha. Ka ahua hoha a Aria i nga akoranga, kaore hoki ia e pai kia tohutohungia ia. Engari kua noho morearea te iwi. Taihoa pea ratou ka tino raru i a Ruatapu Te Pukurua. Ae ranei ma Aria ano te iwi e whakaora?” (Catalogue)

Want to find out more to help you celebrate Matariki?

Mānawatia a Matariki

Matariki at Te Papa

Matariki ki Pōneke

Matariki | AnyQuestions 

Te Wānanga o Aotearoa

Matariki: Te Tau Hou Māori

Te Aka Māori Dictionary

Wellington City Libraries: Matariki

 

Ngā mihi o te tau hou Māori!

World Refugee Day & Contributing to Our Inclusive Community

A journey to a new home is called migration. Much of human history is the story of migrations. Some people migrate voluntarily, but sometimes, they are forced to move for reasons such as war, violence, or persecution. When people are forced to move, they are refugees. 

Refugees can come from various places, especially from countries that have been affected by conflicts for decades. In the last few years, the number of refugees has increased dramatically, with the highest level of forced displacement since the end of World War II. More than ever is urgent to talk about this matter.  

Refugees not only experience the difficulty of leaving their homeland, but also encounter cultural differences, and often the need to learn a new language. These are significant challenges for people integrating into a new place.

What can we do to contribute?

  • It is important to be aware of the circumstances of the other families surrounding us.
  • Find out more about refugee families in our community, school, neighbourhood or work.
  • Commemorate the contributions and courage of refugees through the times.
  • Read refugees’ stories to understand their journey.
  • When we can, clarify incorrect or inaccurate information to contribute to a better understanding of refugees and our communities.

Where can you find information about refugees around the world? Please visit the website AnyQuestions where you can find a list of useful resources. 

We invite you to read different and beautiful stories that talk about migration and the journey that many refugees must make to find a safe place. Check out the reading list below! World Refugee Day
To celebrate the World Refugee Day come to join us to read some of these books in a special storytime session in Karori. Everyone is welcome to come along on Monday 20th June at 3.30 pm at Karori Library!  

This weekend on Saturday 18th June, Wellington City Libraries is taking part in the World Refugee Day event at South Wellington Intermediate School, 30 Te Wharepouri Street, Berhampore from 11:30-3:30pm. We will be running storytimes, and a VR classroom with virtual reality games!

The suitcase / Naylor-Ballesteros, Chris
“When a weary stranger arrives one day, with only a suitcase, everyone is full of questions. Why is he here? Where has he come from? And just what is in the suitcase? A story full of heart, hope and kindness about how we treat those in need.” (Catalogue)


Story boat / Maclear, Kyo
“When a little girl and her younger brother are forced along with their family to flee the home they’ve always known, they must learn to make a new home for themselves–wherever they are. And sometimes the smallest things– a cup, a blanket, a lamp, a flower, a story–can become a port of hope in a terrible storm. As the refugees travel onward toward an uncertain future, they are buoyed up by their hopes, dreams and the stories they tell–a story that will carry them perpetually forward.”–Amazon.com” (Catalogue
The day the war came / Davies, Nicola
When the government refused to allow 3000 child refugees to enter this country in 2016, Nicola Davies was so angry she wrote a poem. It started a campaign for which artists contributed drawings of chairs, symbolising a seat in a classroom, education, kindness, the hope of a future. The poem has become this book, movingly illustrated by Rebecca Cobb, which should prove a powerful aid for explaining the ongoing refugee crisis to younger readers.” ( abridged from Catalogue)
My name is not refugee / Milner, Kate
“A young boy discusses the journey he is about to make with his mother. They will leave their town, she explains, and it will be sad but also a little bit exciting. They will have to say goodbye to friends and loved ones, and that will be difficult. They will have to walk and walk and walk, and although they will see many new and interesting things, it will be difficult at times too. A powerful and moving exploration that draws the young reader into each stage of the journey, inviting the chance to imagine the decisions he or she would make.” (Catalogue)
Out / George, Angela May

I’m called an asylum seeker, but that’s not my name. A little girl and her mother have fled their homeland, making the long and treacherous journey by boat to seek asylum. Timely, powerful and moving, Out celebrates the triumph of the human spirit in the darkest times, and the many paths people take to build a new life.” (Abridged for catalogue)
Marwan’s journey / Arias, Patricia de

This is the journey of one boy who longs for a home, and we follow his path, walking hand in hand with him as he looks forward with uncertainty and hopes for a peaceful future. This beautiful, heartfelt story gives a human face to the plight of refugees all over the world. Marwan’s journey is everyone’s journey”–Jacket.” (Abridged from catalogue)
Welcome / Barroux
“A powerful story about the plight of migrants from the award-winning creator of Where’s the Elephant?–Back cover.” (Catalogue)

 


Three balls of wool (can change the world) / Cristina, Henriqueta
“Exiled from their homeland, a young girl and her entire family are unhappy about the monochrome sweaters all children wear until Mom decides to make a change. Includes facts about Portugal’s history and government, about Amnesty International, and the text of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” (Catalogue)
Spectacularly beautiful / Lucas, Lisa
“A teacher helps one of her students who is scarred from violence see that she is spectacularly beautiful.” (Catalogue)

 


Migrants / Watanabe, Issa
“The migrants must leave the forest. Borders are crossed, sacrifices made, loved ones are lost. It takes such courage to reach the end. At last the journey is over and the migrants arrive. This is the new place. With forceful simplicity, Migrants narrates the journey of a group of animals leaving a leafless forest.”–Back cover.” (Catalogue)
Ali’s story … : a real life account of his journey from Afghanistan / Maldonado, Salvador
“This is the real-life story of 10-year-old refugee Ali who, accompanied by his grandmother, flees his home country of Afghanistan to avoid the conflict caused by the war. Told in Ali’s own words, it documents his feelings of alienation, separation and suffering that war can place on immigrant children and their families, and the thread of hope that can help them to overcome their ordeal”- (Blurb).
Feathers / Cummings, Phil

    1. “The sandpiper stretched its wings in the chilling breeze. It knew it was time to leave…so it took flight. Follow the feathers as they fall along this exquisite journey of heartache, hope and home.” (Catalogue)


Four feet, two sandals / Williams, Karen Lynn
“Two young Afghani girls living in a refugee camp in Pakistan share a precious pair of sandals while they go about their routines and wait for their names to appear on a list for a new home. Suggested level: primary, intermediate.”(Catalogue)
The journey / Sanna, Francesca
“I look up to the birds that seem to be following us. They are migrating just like us. And their journey, like ours, is very long, but they don’t have to cross any borders.” (Abridged from catalogue)
Stepping stones : a refugee family’s journey / Ruurs, Margriet
“In this picture book, a young girl and her family are forced to flee their village to escape the civil war that has engulfed Syria and make their way toward freedom in Europe”– Provided by publisher.” (Catalogue)
Two white rabbits / Buitrago, Jairo
“A young girl describes what it is like to be a migrant as she and her father travel north toward the U.S. border. They travel mostly on the roof of a train known as The Beast, but the little girl doesn’t know where they are going. She sleeps, dreaming that she is always on the move…” (Abridged from catalogue)
From far away / Munsch, Robert N.
“When Saoussan immigrated with her family from war-torn Lebanon, she was only seven years old. This picture book tells the story of how she had to adjust to her new home in Canada. This is the perfect book to help kids empathize with immigrant children whose experiences are very similar to Saoussan’s.”– Provided by publisher.” (Catalogue)

 

Rainbow Storytimes with Erika and CoCo Flash!

Soon, from 13-27 June, we will be taking part in Out On The Shelves, a special celebration of LGBTQIA+ stories in libraries and schools across New Zealand. To help us get in the festive mood, before Out On The Shelves begins, why not come along to one of our fabulous rainbow events at your local library on the 9th and 10th of June?

Join Erika and CoCo Flash for magical Rainbow Storytimes at your local library!

Rainbow Storytimes

Taranaki icons Erika and CoCo Flash, fully clad in glitter and sequins, are coming out to He Matapihi, Miramar, and Cummings Park Libraries to bring us some special rainbow storytimes. These glamorous and colourful queens will be leading interactive games and reading stories to our tamariki all about acceptance, inclusion, and having confidence in yourself. Embracing sequins, colours, and all things rainbow, expect to have an electric storytelling experience like no other!

Children of all ages are welcome to attend with their caregivers — deck yourself our in your rainbow regalia, bring your teddies or unicorn plushies, and get ready to have a super awesome time!

Where and When?

Join us — we’d love to see you there, glitter and all!

Rainbow Living Library

If you’re especially keen to learn more, Erika and CoCo are also hosting a glitzy and glamorous Rainbow Living Library at Johnsonville Library on Friday 10 June, 3.30pm. Aimed at the curious and the fun-loving, the Living Library is a storytelling, lip-syncing, and singing interactive performance just for you! Bring along your friends and your questions, and join us for a fun and glitter-filled frolic. No question is taboo as Erika and CoCo educate you on LGBTQIA+ and drag culture, and promote the importance of being allies to the rainbow community.

The Living Library event is targeted mainly at teens and adults, but curious tamariki are more than welcome to come along as well, with your caregivers in tow!

Where and When?

If you’d like more information about these events, or would like to know how else you can get involved in Out On The Shelves, please contact the Children’s and Youth Services Librarian. Keep an eye out on our blog and on social media for more rainbow goodness to come!

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