Māori-English Children’s Book Launch, 9.30am 3 May 2017, Rōmai Marae
“Ka mokemoke te Pāpā, a Koopukairoa. Ka rapu i tōna whānau.
Ka tae ki Karikari, ka kite i te puna me ōna wai tapu.
Ka inu i te wai tapu. He toka hoki ia. He whānau kotahi rātou.”
Ngā Pōtiki a Tamapahore & Inspired Kindergartens are proud to announce a new book is to be released at Rōmai Marae, 3 May at 9.30am. The bilingual book for early childhood readers, entitled Ngā Maunga Tohorā, aims to introduce new generations of young Tauranga Moana children to the history of the mountains of the area. It also explores some of the local kai to be found in the moana.
The book was written and illustrated by Ngā Pōtiki and Tauranga Moana descendants and is published in conjunction with the Inspired Kindergartens. Inspired Kindergartens Representative and co-author Hinemārie Burton says” it is a way of recognising the local Maori histories by forming relationships and having these stories come to life by working together, Maori and Pakeha. It also gives mana to the korero to know that the tangata whenua are involved every step of the way. It is respectful. We at Inspired Kindergartens are honoured and proud to have this amazing opportunity to work so closely with tangata whenua and are humbled to be able to create this taonga for future generations that is the preferred version endorsed by tangata whenua. .” The efforts of the Association have been critical in sourcing funding to produce the book and to handle key logistics. Funding was secured from Ngā Pōtiki and the Creative Bay of Plenty - Te Moana a Toi administered Creative Communities Scheme to complete the book, printed by Kale Print.
Ngā Pōtiki a Tamapahore Trust Spokesperson Bentham Ohia says “Ngā Pōtiki ki Tamapahore Trust is pleased to partner with Inspired Kindergartens in the development of this cultural resource for our tamariki of all cultures. It aligns to one of our key strategic objectives of whānau transformation through Ngā Pōtiki identity, culture, language, knowledge and education. Bentham also pays homage to the late Awanui Black, to whom the book is dedicated. “Equally this taonga is timely given the recent passing of one of our esteemed leaders and the knowledge and joy he shared through story- telling to our precious children especially stories of our ancient histories and her-stories of Tauranga Moana."
Ngā Pōtiki co-author Vincent Ieni Olsen-Reeder, who grew up outside of Tauranga, says it is a privilege to contribute something to his people in the form of the book’s text: “I just wrote down some words. Hine came and applied her whakaaro that drew on her upbringing in the area and also her expertise on how to write books kids love to read. I am so thankful to Hine for her energy and drive to complete the task.”
The book is hopefully a first step in what will hopefully be a collection of first readers for local mokopuna. Vincent adds, “We have our own superheroes, our own villains and our own lessons about the world right here in Tauranga, where our feet hit the ground. Me whakakōrero i ō tātou maunga kōrero.”