Category Archives: Maori

Characteristics which Kura Kaupapa Māori aim to develop in their children

At te reo classes we’ve been learning about a way of looking at identity, individual health, and well being, known as the Tuakiri. It was written by Kāterina Te Heikōkō Mataira. It’s a way of looking at health holistically – everything that you are and experience, goes towards your mental and physical health. Last night we discussed child development (among other things). Kāterina Te Heikōkō Mataira also wrote (or contributed to, I’m not sure) Te Aho Matua o ngā Kura Kaupapa Māori, a foundation document for Kura Kaupapa Māori.

The very last page had this description of the sorts of kids they wanted to develop. Our discussion moved into “Wouldn’t it be amazing if this was a thing for everyone?” (Better articulated than that though. #IWasSick) It’s so amazing I wanted to share it.

This part of the document focuses, however, on the whole person in terms of a fully functioning human being whose personal attributes are recognised, nurtured and brought to fruition.
In summary, then, Te Tino Uaratanga defines the characteristics which Kura Kaupapa Māori aim to develop in their children, that they:

  • develop free, open and inquiring minds alert to every area of knowledge which they choose to pursue in their lives.

  • become competent thinkers, listeners, speakers, readers and writers in both Maori and English.

  • advance their individual talents to the highest levels of achievement.

  • delight in using their creative talents in all feats of endeavour.

  • are receptive to and have a great capacity for aroha, for joy and for laughter.

  • are true and faithful to their own sense of personal integrity while being caring, considerate and co-operative with others.

  • assimilate the fruits of learning into the deeper recesses of consciousness where knowing refreshes the spirit.

  • manifest self-esteem, self-confidence, self-discipline and well-developed qualities of leadership.

  • value their independence and self-determination in setting personal goals and achieving them.

  • radiate the joy of living.

  • manifest physical and spiritual well-being through the harmonious alignment of body, mind and spirit.

  • are secure in the knowledge of their ancestral links to the divine source of all humanity.

  • are high achievers who exemplify the hopes and aspirations of their people.

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Arohatia te reo

I arahina ta māua tirotiro haere i te Weta Cave i tenei rā. I korerotia te tāhuhu kōrero ki te kaiarahi. I katakata māua.

We went on a guided tour of the Weta Cave today. The guide told us the history. We laughed.

I’m in my second year learning te reo through Te Ataarangi. They have a particular teaching style which is based on speaking te reo. It’s full immersion. The kaiako use a mixture of charades, transliterated phrases, cuisenaire rods, and lots of laughter to help us learn. It’s tough. At the beginning every word sounded like every other word and every second word was ‘ki’. Then I had a breakthrough – I could understand what my boss was saying when he was speaking Maori at whakatau. Generally a mihimihi will follow a certain pattern – mihi to the atua, to the kaikarakia, to the mate, to the VIPs, everyone in the room. I could understand that. It was when I began to understand the specifics of what he was saying that it became very exciting.

I can understand more than I can speak, although my vocabulary needs a big boost. (I’m working on it by being signed up to Kupu o te Rā plus I’m going to have a go at learning the 100 Māori words every New Zealander should know.) I can speak more than I can write. The first few sentences of this blog are an attempt to get over the shyness in writing te reo.

(The Window on Weta guided tour was very informative and interesting. Recommended.)

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Ingoa Maori

Here are some tips on pronunciation for the Maori language.

1. There are a couple of standard sounds for vowels. A short version and a long version (indicated either by a double vowel e.g. aa, or a macron e.g. ā.)

2. Listen to the vowel sounds. Don’t look at the screen. Hear the vowel sounds. Practice them. Lock in the mouthfeel of them.

3. Seriously, don’t look at the screen. I hear a few people go wrong when they’re reading the words because their brain is translating the vowel sounds into the more familiar sounds of their first language.  (HT to the marvelous Anahera for that insight.)

4. Practice. Watch Maori TV and listen to the language.  Even if you don’t understand, your brain will be getting used to the sound of te reo. You’ll get better just by having it on in the background!

Ready for some more? Learn how to say Moata Tamaira (our idol blogger) or try out some Aotearoa ingoa wāhi.

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Download a whakataukī

It’s Te wiki o te reo Maori! This year’s theme is Maori names. If you’re on Twitter you can tweet @temihinga your name and the meaning, and she’ll tweet you back a translation.

The MCH have created a handful of  “wallpapers for your computer with whakataukī (sayings) that each relate to atua (deities) and places important within te ao Māori (the Māori world).” The choice is limited and you won’t find familiar whakataukī. I’d also like a pointer to why those ones. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that the whakataukī “He iti te kupu, he nui te kōrero (a small number of words, a multitude of meanings)” is so true.

Think of it like this – when someone on the Internet says “One does not simply…” or “Damn you autocorrect“, there are layers of references that fall out of that one phrase. It’s the same with a whakataukī. (Actually, it’s the same with place names too. )

Finally, I’ve been trying to find the ad for te reo which had two fine young Maori in Italy (?) romancing each other in te reo, with two Italians (?) remarking on what a romantic language it was. Did I imagine this? Can anyone help me out?

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