Te Aka Maori Dictionary – Tau ke nei

Te Aka Māori-English, English-Māori Dictionary and Index is a brilliant resource, even if you’re just an amateur Te Reo Māori enthusiast like  me.

You can search in Māori or English.

A bonus are the rather wonderful examples of the word in context:

hei aha [tāu]!
I don’t care what you say! – used to emphasise that the speaker will take no notice of a suggestion because it has no value.
Kāore au e pai ki a Timi, he pākira rawa nō tōna rae. Hei aha tāu, he tangata hūmārie ia. / I don’t like Tim. He’s too bald. I don’t care, he’s a handsome man.

Aurelia’s recently used the phrase “Tau kē nei” – this is so cool, this is so neat. A great term to use when you’ve discovered something you think is worth sharing. And Te Aka deserves it big time!

Dictionary of New Zealand Biography

The Dictionary of New Zealand Biography now has a new home at Te Ara, along with an updated and improved look.

The biographies are a great resource for information about dead New Zealanders, Māori and non-Māori.  Some new biographies have just been added, including one of Hone Tuwhare.

Nga Mihi o te Wa!

Erin Vail
Fendalton Library

He Kupenga

…and the Dean from Ōtautahi

Having seen Hana O’Regan last year at the LIANZA Conference, I was expecting a passionate presentation from her at the Diversity Forum.  I wasn’t disappointed.

Ms O’Regan is currently the Dean of Te Puna Wānaka, Faculty of Māori and Pasifika Kaiārahi, at CPIT.  Since 2003 she has also been a member of The Māori Language Commission – Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori – a cause which is very close to her heart.

Her talk was based on her personal experiences growing up in Aotearoa, and the way in which the themes of belonging and identity shaped her childhood and her world view.  I particularly related to her description of feeling “defined by fractions”.  This culminated in a traumatic experience when she was 6 years old and lost her hand (which was luckily re-attached through microsurgery).  As if the injury wasn’t distressing enough on its own, Hana was also beset by the fear of losing her “Māori” blood, which, as she was often reminded by society, was just a fraction of her make-up.  Could that fraction be bleeding out of her and her “Māoriness” be lost?

Her identity at school was similarly questioned.  At primary school she was called “nigger”; whereas at Māori boarding school she was a “honkie” because of her light complexion.

We might like to think that events such as these are well in the past; however prejudice still persists.  Ms O’Regan described a recent encounter she had in a supermarket, when an elderly pākehā woman, hearing her speak to her children in te reo, snapped at her to “just shut the hell up”.

So how should we deal with these ongoing challenges? These are Ms O’Regan’s suggestions:

  • Remember the journeys taken by our ancestors – we do have a place where we belong and history says who we are;  and
  • Remember that we are defined not by fractions but by the identity we want.

If you want to read more on these topics, try:

Walking the space between Being Maori-Chinese

Earthquakes information – Pre-European

He KupengaIf you’re looking for information about Earthquakes pre-European times try Te Ara. In the Geology section, Whenua – how the land was shaped, some of the stories are told of how different mountains, rivers and lakes were formed.  Earthquakes and volcanoes also feature.  Te Hoata and Te Pupu brought fire from Hawaiki to warm their brother Ngatoroirangi, and are associated with geothermal areas.

Māori tradition and legends tell many stories about how our land was created and shaped.  Te Ara tells us that Rū whenua, the shaking of the land, was experienced and remembered by Māori long before Europeans arrived.

Rū whenua are associated with Rūaumoko, the god of earthquakes and volcanoes, who creates rumblings as he walks around.  The Earthquakes in Maori Tradition page gives accounts of several pre-European earthquakes including one which closed off a second entrance to Port Nicholson (Wellington Harbour).

Sally Stanley-Boden

Maori women and the vote

PhotoThe Ministry of Women’s Affairs has a resource on Suffrage 2010, and it features information on  Māori Women and the Vote, honouring the active role of  Māori women suffragists:

Māori women were very active in the struggle for the right to vote in both the national parliament and the Māori parliament, Te Kotahitanga, but their story is not well known. To mark Suffrage Day 2010 the Ministry is publishing a web resource on the role of women like Meri Mangakāhia of Te Rarawa, who were prominent in the struggle. The resource is based on information from Māori women and the vote, by Tania Rei (now Tania Rangiheuea), published by Huia in 1993. The assistance of Tania Rangiheuea and Robyn Bargh of Huia Publishers, is gratefully acknowledged.

There is some information on Meri on our page on the Kate Sheppard Memorial as she is one of the women honoured there.

Nāku noa
Donna Robertson
Digitial Library Services