Kia orana. Aere mai, tapiri mai, i te ‘akaepaepaanga ite ‘Epetoma o te reo Māori Kuki Airani.
It’s winter. It’s cold. If you’re like me you were wishing you were in the islands. Welcome to Cook Islands Language week which runs from Sunday 30 July – Saturday 5 August 2017. The aim of Cook Islands Language Week is to celebrate Cook Islands language and culture and to promote the teaching, learning and use of language in every environment.
The theme for Te ‘Epetoma o te Reo Māori Kūki ’Āirani: Cook Islands Language Week 2017 is:
`Ei rāvenga nāku i te tuatua i tōku reo Māori Kūki ’Āirani ka anoano au i te turuturu ā tōku ngutu`are tangata `ē te matakeinanga
An encouraging home and community environment is what I need to build my love and my confidence to speak my reo Māori Kūki ’Āirani
There is a huge range of events and activities happening at a town near you! Check out the events calendar at the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs (PDF, 250kb).
I’d like to share with you a few facts and resources to assist you in your classroom.
Did you know that there are three distinct Polynesian languages are spoken in the Cook Islands? They are:
- Cook Islands Māori is an Eastern Polynesian language, belonging to the same language family as New Zealand Māori and the languages of Hawai‘i and Tahiti. It has a number of distinct dialects.
- The language of Pukapuka is a Western Polynesian language, belonging to the same language family as the languages of Sāmoa, Tuvalu, and Tokelau. Pukapuka Island’s inclusion as part of the
- Cook Islands has resulted in some Cook Islands Māori terms and expressions being adopted into the Pukapuka language.
- Palmerston Island has its own unique and distinctive mixture of Cook Islands Māori and English.
Also, there are different dialects. Speakers of one dialect can understand the others. These dialects are:
- Ātiu, Ma‘uke, and Miti‘āro (Ngāpūtoru);
- Manihiki and Rakahanga;
- Tongareva (Penrhyn).
The dialect of Rarotonga is the most widely used and standardised dialect, both in the Cook Islands
and within Cook Islands communities in New Zealand. Learners of Cook Islands ancestry whose
heritage language is that of Pukapuka or whose heritage dialect is other than that of Rarotonga
benefit from learning the Rarotongan dialect as a lingua franca because they are part of the Cook
Islands community. Learners of Cook Islands Māori who are not of Cook Islands ancestry normally
begin by learning the dialect spoken in Rarotonga.
Here are a few learning resources that I have found helpful:
- Te Papa has developed an online language learning resource, Te ’Epetoma o te reo Māori Kūki ’Āirani, to help learners of reo Māori Kūki ’Āirani. It’s ideal for Cook Islands language speakers, enthusiasts, schools, workplaces and community groups.
The resource includes:
- an exploration of the theme, which relates to family, culture and spirituality
- reo Māori Kūki ’Āirani pronunciation support and access to helpful words and phrases
- activity ideas, and tua (story) and ‘īmene (song) resources
- details of how to take part in a nation-wide initiative to recognise reo Māori Kūki ’Āirani Champions (Cook Islands Māori Language Champions). Download the resource (PDF, 2.5 MB)
- Teaching and learning Cook Islands Māori
- Learning Languages for Senior Secondary
- Cook Islands Māori storybooks Teacher Support Materials
- Resources for Internally Assessed Achievement Standards ( NCEA on TKI)
- Paskifika Songs: The CORE Pasifika team has recorded a selection of songs which have been made available to support early childhood teachers with the teaching and learning of languages and cultures of Pasifika peoples.