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Christchurch City Council Media Release 11 July 2002


Maori Language Celebrated

Christchurch City Libraries has a lot to celebrate during Te Wiki o Te Reo Maori -Maori Language Week from the 22-27 July this year.

The network has a new Maori name - Nga Kete Wananga-o-Otautahi, which translates into ‘Christchurch Baskets of Knowledge and Learning.’ The new name has been adopted as part of the Libraries on-going bi-cultural development of services for Maori.

‘We are delighted with our new name, “ says Christchurch City Libraries’ Manager Sue Sutherland ‘We’ve worked closely with our Kaumatua, Dr. Terry Ryan from the Ngai Tahu Whakapapa unit to develop it. Our old name translated to ‘House of Books’ and was no longer an accurate description of our business. We’re proud of the fact that our kete, or baskets, contain many different treasures that are continually being replenished and renewed.”

The new name will be launched at an official ceremony on Tuesday 23 July at the Central City Library.

Another major focus of the week’s activities is the unveiling of nineteen tukutuku panels that were created for the new Maori area by a network of community groups and weavers. This special project was led by Nga Puna Waihanga, Waitaha Tai Poutini - the local branch of the Maori Artists and Writers Association, to show its appreciation to the Christchurch City Council for the harakeke/flax and toitoi planting at the Janet Stewart Reserve specifically for the use of Christchurch weavers. Mae Taurua, master tukutuku weaver tutored a series of workshops to more than 60 participants who then took their learning back to their own groups to complete the panels.

“This was a huge community project resulting in a cultural visual feast of colour and design that will enhance the Nga Pounamu Maori Centre and create a sense of ownership and belonging,” says Maori Services Librarian Haneta Pierce.

The remainder of the week is full of workshops, live musical performances and data shows, all designed to educate, inform and celebrate ‘Nga Taonga Maori Katoa’ – all Maori Treasures.

Displays and activities are being run across the libraries network during the week. New Brighton is holding a blessing ceremony for ‘Kahukura’, a mural gifted to it by Nga Hau e Wha National Marae on 15 July. The mural is the work of artist Tania Te Moana and has been carved and painted by the whakairo (carving) class at the Marae under the guidance of Hona Taiapa.

A Maori language version of the libraries website; has been available for some time, but will be highlighted during the week. Other Maori themed websites will also be promoted each day on the network’s computers.

Further information about events and activities can be found at or by phoning 941 7923.

For more information: Haneta Pierce, Maori Services Librarian, Central City Library, phone 941 7916, Vicky Heward, Promotions & Publications Specialist, Central City Library, phone 941 7845

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