Coinciding with the national events and celebrations dotted across New Zealand, Education Minister Hekia Parata recently announced the release of three new innovative resources to support in class learning.

Kiwa Digital and Core Education have worked together to design and create a trilingual digital book, The Story of Rūaumoko (the god of earthquakes and volcanoes), which marks the first-ever digital book designed and created for deaf Māori student readers.The story follows the whakapapa of Te Kore, Rangi and Papa and their separation, Rūaumoko, and the battle of his brothers where he sent earthquakes to signal his feelings about the separation. Non-Te Reo speaking deaf students won’t be missing out on the exciting tale however, as all deaf students across New Zealand will be able to access the story which includes narration by students from Kelston Deaf Education Centre in Te Reo Māori, New Zealand Sign Language and English.

Also being released is Paekupu, a website that will house all Māori medium dictionaries and technical glossaries to support Te Marautanga o Aotearoa, the national curriculum for Māori medium schools. The resource will also show detailed explanations of the language used within each learning area, examples of usage as well as the derivation of the words. 

Paekupu is a creation from He Kupenga Hao i te Reo, a Māori language education and research organisation based in Palmerston North. Spokesperson Ian Christensen told EducationHQ that the goal is to offer engaging supportive resources to students, teachers and whānau.

“The quality, richness, clarity and depth of language use in classrooms is of utmost importance in empowering the minds of our students, and allowing them to develop the knowledge, skills, understandings and dispositions necessary for them to live confidently and proudly as Māori.

“[We want to ensure students] are competent to support themselves, as well as contribute to their whānau, hapū, iwi, and wider communities; can participate fully in an information and technology rich society; and also have a wide range of post school study and career options."

The third resource, Hou Mai, is a video series which will feature whānau talking about their journey learning Te Reo Māori and encouraging their children to participate in Māori medium education.

“These new resources will support and encourage more students, teachers and parents to ‘Give te reo Māori a go’, which is the theme of this year’s Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori,” Parata said in a statement.

“I encourage all Kiwis to take part in Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori and use the language every day in their homes, schools, workplaces and communities.

“Māori language and culture are becoming more and more visible in classrooms and homes across the country. Between 2010 and 2015, the number of children and young people learning te reo at school grew from around 133,000 to almost 155,000.”

Need to brush up on your Te Reo? New Zealand History website have compiled a helpful list of words here