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Maori Subject Headings Phase II

PÜ KI TE TAUIRA
MÄORI SUBJECT HEADINGS. PHASE II

“All New Zealanders will feel the impact of this landmark development”.

The creation of a nationally recognised set of Mäori Subject Headings moves closer with the completion of Phase II of the Mäori Subject Headings Project (MSH).

Spencer Lilley, President LIANZA said, “All New Zealanders will feel the impact of this landmark development in New Zealand information access.”

“When completed this will have implications for every library and information organisation on a global level. Particularly as indigenous groups seek to improve ways in which their institutions can provide appropriate access to information by, for or about their distinctive groups,” said Hinureina Mangan, Tumuaki, Te Röpü Whakahau.

The Mäori Subject Headings is a complex task, it involves carefully balancing the needs of users with those of cataloguers and organisations. It also requires the development of processes that will ensure the application, ongoing development and maintenance of the subject headings being created.

Project Manager Mihi Harris said, “Having worked for a short time indexing and cataloguing Mäori resources, I thought this would hold me in good stead in understanding the technical and dialectical implications of developing a list of subject headings in te reo Mäori. Little did I know what a difficult task this would be”.

Charged with leading the MSH into Phase II, Glenn Taitoko (Te Puni Kökiri) pulled together a diverse working party with expertise in te reo, tikanga, technical and cataloguing abilities.

Rangiiria Hedley (National Library), te reo expert on the working party stated, “We needed to distinguish ourselves from other groups who were working in this area, and so we decided on the name, ‘Pü ki te Tauira’.”

Te Reo Mäori experts focussed on establishing topical subdivisions relevant to Mäori and the Mäori language, the problems associated with differing iwi or regional dialectical variations and the development of an authoritative iwi, hapü and waka list. Traditional and contemporary period sub-divisions focussing on tikanga Mäori and the Mäori ‘world-view has also been established.
Pü ki te Tauira members ultimately relied on their own experiences and networks in developing a comprehensive subject headings list.

With three distinct areas of expertise, considerable time was spent on the technical and cataloguing aspects of the MSH project and how these would complement the creation of Mäori language terms.
“Issues relating specifically to cataloguing and technical aspects, asserted Mihi, took up a lot of time as we resolved issues as soon as we could after they were raised at meetings. We visited the National Library to discuss fully issues in relation to cataloguing practices and processes and investigated software programmes capable of taking the MSH lists. To this end, the input from National Library and their cataloguing experts Maria Heenan and Robyn East have been invaluable”.

Glenn Taitoko declared, “Not only did we determine the structure of the MSH list, we designed a subject heading template from which standardised collection and storage processes could be achieved, and also devised guidelines for the application of cataloguing processes to Mäori language terms. Furthermore, the final report gives a comprehensive background to Phase II with recommendations for advancing development in phase III.”

LIANZA and Te Röpü Whakahau have met with National Library’s Allison Elliot to progress Phase III, the implementation stage of the project.

LIANZA and Te Röpü Whakahau would like to take this opportunity to thank the Mäori Subject Headings Working Party for the work achieved in completing the most difficult phase of the project.

Spencer Lilley emphasised, “The achievements of this group clearly demonstrates how partnership, biculturalism can work and the principles as expressed in the partnership document signed by our two professional bodies are being achieved.”


Kia ora hoki tätou katoa.

Ends

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