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Watercare Launches Children’s Book In Te Reo Māori

Watercare has launched a new children’s book about the wastewater treatment process and for the first time, tamariki can read about the adventures of Sam and his water droplet friend Flo in te reo Māori.

Ka Haere a Hāmi rāua ko Rere Mā te Kōpiko, nā Sally Smith, nā Emma Scheltema ngā pikitia/Sam and Flo Go Round the Bend, by Sally Smith and illustrated by Emma Scheltema, tells the story of Sam and Flo as they go on adventures to find out what happens to water after it goes down the drain or is flushed down the toilet.

The book has been translated into te reo Māori and turned into an animated e-book.

Watercare Poutiaki Tikanga Māori (principal advisor) Richie Waiwai is excited about this project because it provides Iwi and wider Māori partners with a tangible resource that will help their kids understand the fundamental principles of water use and conservation.

“We want to make an intergenerational impact around these issues which means starting the conversations earlier so that it raises awareness at a much earlier age.

“With the current environmental concerns, we think it is beneficial for our tamariki to gain an understanding of how our water is treated today, and how it arrives to our homes,” he says.

“Te Wiki o te Reo Māori provides a perfect opportunity to release the book which is available as an animated e-book.”

Watercare communications manager Rachel Hughes says the e-book is a great interactive experience and an important extension of the organisation’s education programme.

“Our free education programme has been running for 20 years and it’s wonderful to have a new resource in te reo Māori that schools can use.”

Hōhepa Tuahine of Punarau Media says that Ka Haere a Hāmi rāua ko Rere Mā te Kōpiko was an awesome project to be part of.

“We know this will be a valuable resource for our whānau across Aotearoa. With the current environmental concerns, we think it is beneficial for our tamariki to have an understanding of how our water is treated today, and how it arrives to our homes. Water is such an important element within Māori culture, water is mentioned in our whakataukī, or traditional proverbs such as, ‘He huahua te kai, he wai te kai’ - ‘Huahua is the food, water is the food’.

“This proverb mentions the huahua, or birds that were preserved in their own fat. This particular food was held in the highest regard in traditional Māori society. In this whakataukī, we can see that water is also held in the same respect and holds the same position as the huahua. Our ancestors knew how important and valuable fresh water was.

“We hope this project helps people understand how important water is today, and how scarce clean fresh water is becoming, me kaua tātau e moumou wai!"

Ka Haere a Hāmi rāua ko Rere Mā te Kōpiko is available on Watercare’s Water for Life website.

Tā Hāmi rāua ko Rere Kaewa Waiwai Whakamīharo/Sam and Flo’s Watery Adventure, by Sally Smith and illustrated by Emma Scheltema, which tells the story of Auckland’s water supply, is currently being animated and will be available on the website in the coming month.

© Scoop Media

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