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Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori starts with exhibition opening

Monday 27 July 2015 8:37pm

hocken-te-wiki-image
Jeanette Wikaira (left) and Dr Anne-Marie Jackson at the launch of a new Hocken exhibition celebrating Māori Language Week, Te Reo o te Hauora – Te Hauora o te Reo. Photo: Sharron Bennett.

This year’s Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori (Māori Language Week) celebrations at the University of Otago have been kicked off in style, with the opening of an exhibition looking at the way Māori health promotion posters have changed over the past 60 or so years.

Te Reo o te Hauora – Te Hauora o te Reo (The Language of Health – The Health of the Language) has been curated by Dr Anne-Marie Jackson of Te Kura Parawhakawai/The School of Physical Education, Sport and Exercise Sciences and Jeanette Wikaira, the Hocken’s Māori Resources Portfolio Librarian. It opened with a ceremony at the Hocken this morning.

"Jeanette and I hope that the exhibition will provoke thought about the connections between health and language and how the posters are an interesting way to view both deeply entwined elements of Māori worldview and culture."

Dr Jackson says the exhibition provides an interesting glimpse into the changes in Māori health promotion since the 1950s.

“Jeanette and I hope that the exhibition will provoke thought about the connections between health and language and how the posters are an interesting way to view both deeply entwined elements of Māori worldview and culture.”

Ms Wikiara says she and Dr Jackson hope visitors will enjoy seeing some iconic images of Māori health promotional posters that many people, both Māori and Pākehā, will remember as a backdrop to their lives. They also hope the exhibition will spark an interest in the historical context in which Māori Health has developed over time and the cultural, political and societal influences that impacted on how Māori health was promoted.

“You can see this quite starkly in the posters in terms of the way in which Māori were portrayed. Reflecting on the images from the 1950s, they are very tokenistic in their use of Māori imagery and language and this fits with ideas prevalent at the time where Māori people, culture and language survival was thought only possible by assimilating into the dominant European culture.”

As well as the exhibition at the Hocken, other libraries across the University have also teamed up with Māori researchers to develop a display for Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori, as they have done for the past four years.

Researchers profiled this year in the Library displays are: Central Library – Dr Lyn Carter; Science Library – Dr Lisa Te Morenga; Health Science Library – Dr Bridget Robson and Dr Suzanne Pitama; Dental Library – Professor John Broughton.

In addition, there will be Māori research presentations in Te Aka, ground floor of the Central Library, this Friday 31 July from 12noon to 1pm. Speakers include Associate Professor Jacinta Ruru, Dr Lisa Te Morenga and Dr Lyn Carter.

An online version of Te Reo o te Hauora – Te Hauora o te Reo will be launched in September during a Māori Research Symposium currently being developed in the School of Physical Education, Sport and Exercise Sciences.

Check it out:

Te Reo o te Hauora – Te Hauora o te Reo
Mon 27 Jul to Fri 28 Aug
Hocken Library Foyer