Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search

 


Names of towns and cities should revert to Maori language

Names of towns and cities should revert to Maori language, says former All Black

July 23, 2014

New Zealand should change the names of its towns and cities to Maori language, former All Black, New Zealand Maori, Sevens rugby player and University of Canterbury double graduate Dallas Seymour says.

This week is Maori Language Week and Seymour feels cities and place names should progressively be known and spoken about as their Maori names, such as Christchurch being called Otautahi.

“We need to celebrate our combined heritage. As a country based on the Westminster system we may be only 170-odd years old but as a nation we have 1000 years of history and heritage at our fingertips. Having te reo visible daily makes it normal and an everyday part of life, which it should be.

“Knowing the Maori names, not just transliterations, of any place has meaning behind it and celebrates the heritage of our people who were here well before any migration and it adds to the richness of our country. It’s like the old tourism advertisement from 1984: Don’t leave town until you’ve seen the country.”

Seymour, of the Ngati Hikairo iwi, earned bachelor of science and forestry degrees at Te Whare Wananga o Waitaha, commonly known as the University of Canterbury. He learned to speak te reo at St Stephen’s School in south Auckland, at university and is still learning, he says.

“My Nanny spoke a little to us when we were kids but not much. She was of the generation that were punished for speaking her reo, so unfortunately there was a big gap in the inter-generational transmission of te reo in our family.

“There are a number of my generation and younger who are getting stuck into our reo which is really cool. We have learned our reo from teachers, lecturers, tutors, mentors and whanau. Kapa haka was awesome at St Stephens as it was an immersion environment of sorts, learning about the poeticisms and nuances of te reo.

“I have done some total immersion and while it’s tough at the start being a rae poto (new to te reo) I really recommend it. Being at home in Kawhia among our old people and whanau is the best learning environment as I’m learning my mita (pronunciation) and reo.

“More often I hear young kids around, commonly kohanga or kura raised, speaking it in everyday environments. It is awesome to hear and they teach me as well.

“Our reo is unique. It’s part of our fabric as a nation. It’s the window to our culture and is a key to unlocking our potential as a country. If we lose it we all lose. Learning words during Maori Language week is a start but it’s not enough really. The beauty of te reo is in its entirety. Adding to our vocabulary is a simple, easily achievable goal. If we’re not moving forward and learning we’re stagnating.

“I have woven te reo into my speaking engagements. Any chance to speak it, I challenge myself and it is important for te reo to be heard here and abroad. It’s amazing, but not surprising, the doors it opens and relationships it helps to cultivate overseas with other cultures.

“Higher learning is essential to New Zealand and its people. We have our own wananga of higher learning in Kawhia and I really enjoyed my time at the University of Canterbury and I’d recommend it to anyone. I’m enjoying coaching back at university rugby club and connecting with the current crop of students. Adding to our vocabulary is a simple, easily achievable goal. If we’re not moving forward and learning we’re stagnating,” Seymour says.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Album Review: Donnie Trumpet And The Social Experiments: Surf

Chance the Rapper is one of my favourite rappers of the last couple years. He bought a uniquely fucked up, acid sound with his debut Acid Rap which has demonstrably influenced others including ILoveMakonnen and A$AP Rocky. It’s remarkable that, at such a ... More>>

Photos: Inside The Christchurch Arts Centre Rebuild

Lady Pippa Blake visited Christchurch Arts Centre chief executive André Lovatt, a 2015 recipient of the Blake Leader Awards. The award celebrated Lovatt’s leadership in New Zealand and hisand dedication to the restoration of the Arts Centre. More>>

Running Them Up The Flagpole: Web Tool Lets Public Determine New Zealand Flag

A School of Design master’s student is challenging the flag selection process by devising a web tool that allows the public to feed their views back in a way, he says, the current government process does not. More>>

ALSO:

Survey: ‘The Arts Make My Life Better’: New Zealanders

New Zealanders are creative people who believe being involved in the arts makes their lives better and their communities stronger. Nine out of ten adult New Zealanders (88%) agree the arts are good for them and eight out of ten (82%) agree that the arts help to improve New Zealand society. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Reprieve For Te Papa Press

Following its review of the role of Te Papa Press, Te Papa has committed to continue publishing books during the museum’s redevelopment, Chief Executive Rick Ellis announced yesterday. More>>

Law Society: Sir Peter Williams QC, 1934 - 2015

“Sir Peter was an exceptional advocate. He had the ability to put the defence case for his clients with powerful oratory. His passion shone through in everything he did and said.” Mr Moore says Sir Peter’s lifelong commitment to prison reform was instrumental in ensuring prison conditions and the rights of prisoners were brought to public attention. More>>

ALSO:

CTU: Peter Conway – Family Statement

Peter committed his whole working life to improving the lives of working people, both in unions and, more recently, as the Economist and Secretary of the Council of Trade Unions. He was previously Chair of Oxfam New Zealand and was on the Board of NZ Trade and Enterprise. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Culture
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news