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Child injury prevention messages in te reo Māori

A group of primary-school aged children in Auckland have helped create what may be a world first: child injury prevention social media videos in te reo Māori. Safekids Aotearoa has worked with this group of Māori language learners on the videos.It is posting them to its Facebook page as Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori proceeds.

Director Melissa Wilson says it has been an absolute privilege to work alongside tamariki to make the video and to explore the kids’ and whanau views on keeping tamariki safe. And in particular, to articulate these in te reo Māori.

“It’s important in our work that we take the time to listen to our tamariki and understand what injury prevention looks like through their eyes. Equally important is exploring the language and concepts of injury prevention with a kaupapa Māori lens.

“Taking time to have these conversations helps us to understand how we can utilise the evidence-base on what keeps kids safe and, with whanau input, turn it into practical, common sense advice that’s meaningful for them. We believe that’s a key to seeing it incorporated into daily lives.”

“We’ve also had a great deal of fun discovering how te reo Māori can perfectly-well represent injury prevention concepts and risks that may not be in common use. Pātene puhiko – for button batteries – is but one example. We hope Te Wiki o te Reo Māori 2018 is the beginning of a long conversation Safekids will be having with whanau in te reo Māori about keeping children safe from injuries that are preventable,” Melissa says.

Safekids Aotearoa Strategic advisor Mareta Hunt’s command of the reo has enabled her to translate concepts such as ‘active supervision’, ‘scanning your environment’ and ‘secure hazards out of reach’ into te reo Māori.

“We’ve got a pretty engaging series of videos with which we can deliver some home safety messages directly to te reo Māori stakeholders, who we encourage to watch and share them widely. Let’s lift the understanding and level of korero on this kaupapa. Through listening, comes awareness, through awareness, comes understanding and knowledge, through understanding and knowledge comes life and wellbeing. ” Mareta says.

Amiria Waipouri, parent to one of the children said “It’s wonderful to see and hear our children’s personalities reflected in their te reo Māori. We are so proud of what our children have done sharing in te reo Māori about what safety means to them and the mechanisms to do so in our homes. Thank you, Safekids Aotearoa”

“People wanting to take look and listen to some of tomorrow’s Māori language speakers can find the videos here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/SafekidsAotearoa/posts/

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