2012 marked the 25th anniversary of the passing of the Māori Language Act that made te reo Māori an official language of New Zealand. At this significant milestone it was proposed that the University of Otago Library look to actualise its commitment to the University's Māori Strategic Framework and celebrate Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori with activities to engage and empower staff, students and our communities to think and act multi-culturally, and embrace a language and culture that is very much alive, and uniquely ours. Displays and events across the libraries were intended to highlight and applaud the University of Otago's Māori research activity.
Read more about Māori research at Otago at He Kitenga.
Te Mana o Te Reo
On display at the Hocken Collections was an exhibition of 10 taonga co-curated with Associate Professor Poia Rewi, Dr Katharina Ruckstuhl and Nikita Hall from the University of Otago who are researching Māori Language use among Dunedin whānau. We wanted to bring together a collection of taonga that celebrate the enduring mana of the Māori language; taonga that illustrate how the oral tradition, invigorated by the written word, continues to express the tone and soul of the people. Read more about this exhibition on the Hocken blog.
The Māori Maps website showcased in the Central Library featured the research of Professor Paul Tapsell and his research team.
“Maori Maps is a portal to the Marae of Aotearoa. The site will offer not only map location and directions to the gateway of every tribal marae In Aotearoa, but also a digital gateway by which visitors can access sites or services run by marae…”( Māori Maps, 2012)
Ngā Maumahara Ngā Kōrero
The display Ngā Maumahara Ngā Korero in the Robertson Library featured a range of publications related to the research of Associate Professor Elaine Reese and doctoral students Tia Neha and Ella Myftari. In particular the display highlighted elements of their research such as the remembering of cultural rituals and story-telling, that instils in Māori children a sense of their place in the world within a wider historical context.
Ngā Whaea – Ngā Pēpi
The display Ngā Whaea – Ngā Pēpi in the Medical Library featured a range of publications and other items related to the research of Dr Beverly Lawton (Ngāti Porou). In particular, the display highlighted research that focuses on improving health outcomes for Māori women and their infants.
Te Mana o Te Pūtaiao
The display Te Mana o te Pūtaiao in the Science Library featured a range of publications related to the research of Dr Bronwyn Lowe, Catherine Smith (both of Clothing and Textile Sciences) and Microscopist Andrew McNaughton. In particular the display highlighted the coming together of cutting edge microscopic technology and taonga held in Museums to identify plants used to make taonga such as kakahu and kete – in order to re-affirm cultural knowledge and meaning in taonga.
Te Mana o te Wai
The display Te Mana o te Wai in the Law Library featured a range of publications related to Dr Jacinta Ruru's (Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Ranginui) long standing research interest in Māori voices in resource management and in particular Māori water rights.