Soon after separating Ranginui and Papatūānuku, Tāne travelled into the heavens with the various celestial bodies, to suspend them in the sky bringing light unto the world. Within the basket ‘Te Mangoroa’ Tāne carried the stars, from which he drew forth the brightest and placed them against the chest of Ranginui. So enthralled was Tāne at what he had achieved that he accidently knocked the basket over scattering the remaining stars across the cosmos. As the stars spilled from the basket they clattered against one and other creating a ringing sound that resonated throughout the universe.
Associate Professors Poia Rewi and Rawinia Higgins speak about their research programme, Te Kura Roa, at the launch of the second book in the Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga edited collection; The Value of the Māori Language: Te Hua o Te Reo Māori, published by Huia publishers, and edited by Associate Professors Higgins and Rewi, and Vincent Olsen-Reeder.
Māmari Stephens speaks on her chapter in the book, The Value of Māori Language; Te Hoa o Te Reo Māori; The Māori Language Act and Crown Policy, A House with Many Rooms: Rediscovering Māori as a Civic Language in the Wake of the Māori Language Act (1987).
This research project’s origins date back 22 years when Dr Joe Te Rito helped establish local Māori radio station Radio Kahungunu in Hastings. Joe saw how the dialect of his iwi Rongomaiwahine-Ngāti Kahungunu was diminishing in quality, in terms of grammatical and spoken fluency, with each generation. The station was to fill the gap for children who did not have Māori spoken in the home or role models to learn te reo from. While schools looked after education, the station wanted to bring the voices into the home.
Minority language speakers are being placed under increasing pressure to use languages that are moredominant, more prestigious, or more widely known.
This is particularly so when using internet–based technology. Ironically, minority language groups are increasingly embracing the power of this technology as they struggle to ensure the continued health and survival of their own languages. Māori are no exception. Initiatives involving the Microsoft Corporation, Moodle and Google Inc. have resulted in a range of localised interfaces now available in the Māori language.
Associate Professor Poia Rewi lectures at Te Tumu (School of Māori, Pacific and Indigenous Studies), the University of Otago. He affiliates to descendants of Mātaatua and Te Arawa. His main areas of research and teaching, and community engagement involve the Māori language, Māori culture, education and performing arts. He is Co-Principal Investigator on the three-year Ngā Pae o Te Māramatanga Pae Tawhiti initiative on Te Reo Māori.
Erima Henare (Te Aupōuri, Ngāi Takoto, Ngāti Kurī, Ngāti Kahu, Te Rarawa, Ngā Puhi, Ngāti Hine, Ngāti Wai, Ngāti Whātua, Ngāti Kahungunu, Te Āti Awa, Tainui, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Rongowhakaata, Te Aitanga-ā-Māhaki) was a Chair and former Chief Executive of Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori. Mr Henare had a wide-ranging background in regional community development and governance. Erima was Director of Koti Whero Limited, a company which delivers advice on governance and stakeholder engagement to Māori organisations.
The Knowledge Exchange Programme works to communicate the results and applications of research by providing assistance in the publication of books by researchers and of book launches. Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga is very proud to have supported the translation project and the launch event of Ngā Mōteatea, The Songs, Part Four by Sir Apirana Ngata which were translated by Professor Hirini Moko Mead. The book provides a very important resource to scholars, teachers and students of Māori traditional music and culture through waiata that have always been a central part of Māori life.
Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga launched a new research initiative at Te Marae, Te Papa Tongarewa Museum, in Wellington on 8th December 2010. Entitled ‘Te Pae Tawhiti’(The Distant Horizon) this initiative will explore the value of the Māori language to our nation; its contribution to New Zealand’s society, economy and culture; and ways in which the language acts as a vehicle for an indigenous worldview, a particular way of experiencing and explaining the world.