Thursday, 30 July 2015

Rotorua Author Spotlight : John Foster

John Foster is the author of eight books which are aimed at teaching the Māori language.  All of his texts provide clear explanations around sentence construction from the very basic sentence patterns to the more advanced.
John has taught Māori language classes at school cert level to high school  students and evening classes to maturre students at a nationally recognised level. He credits his former teacher the very reverend John Laughton, missionary to the Tuhoe people, for the passion he has of the Māori language.
 Below are just a few texts that will help you to learn the Māori language which are held in the Māori collection on the 2nd floor.

He whakamarama is a full self-help course in everyday Māori language which is aimed at students of all ages.  It contains clear explanations and revision exercises to reinforce understanding.
Call no. 499.442z FOS

This short accelerated course consists of six CDs that contain all that is necessary to gain an understanding of the whole range of Māori sentence construction. The material set out in the lessons is in the form of explanation with grammar terms and flashcards that are specific to Māori.  Call no. 499.442z FOS

This is a book for those who have started to learn Māori but have found some aspects confusing.  The examples provided are designed to give a model for each sentence construction and once an accurate sentence has been learned, it will only require substitution of other words to form other sentences.
Call no. 499.442z FOS

This booklet focuses attention on nine critical elements of Māori sentence construction.  The author takes the Verb, I and Ki, Names and Pronouns, Description, Complex Prepositions, Possession, Ko, Transitive and Intransitive schemes  to show how parts of Māori sentences are formed and to provide a clearer understanding of their essential points.
Call no. 499.442z FOS

With thanks to Amanda Hemara for this blog.

Friday, 24 July 2015

Book Review : Nga Kura Maori : the native schools system 1867-1969. Edited by Judith Simon

Maori or Native Schools in New Zealand

Over the last few years there has been much research published for the academic world and for any interested readers of this era of education in New Zealand.  

One of these works is 'Nga Kura Maori'  which draws information from personal experiences of ex-pupils from across New Zealand.  The book sets out to present an even coverage of schools, iwi and regions, however some schools records were lost, and although they do get a mention, other districts are more thoroughly represented. Pupils who contributed their recollections are not named. 

In reading this book I discovered what hardships Maori children endured in and from the Native School curriculum.  I confess I was quite ignorant of this part of New Zealand's history and I now have a greater appreciation for the skills and experiences of those for whom the Native School was their only option.    

The Rotorua district schools do get coverage.  Rotoiti Maori School, Whakarewarewa Maori School and Horohoro Maori School with photographs and anecdotes from past pupils.

Other books : "Tangoio Native School : 1902-1974" by Toi Harry Tawhai. ; "The child grew: the story of the Anglican Maori Mission" by Wilfred Williams ; "Ko mata : the life in New Zealand of Anne Chapman" by Phil Andrews

Thursday, 16 July 2015

History of the Native Schools in Rotorua

Centenary of Maori Schools in New Zealand 1967

In the Rotorua Photonews the editor Jack Lang began a series of articles and photographs showcasing Rotorua's history of Maori Education. 

Below is the first page of his series published on 20 October 1967 pg 59-65, starting with the Renana School at Te Ngae which opened in 1896 and eventually closed in 1926 when Whangamarino and Rotokawa Maori Schools opened, in this edition are Whakarewarewa School and Horohoro School .   The following Photonews editions continued the history : November 17th 1967 p. 35-41 Whangamarino School and Rotokawa School ; December 15th 1967 p. 87-93 Rotoiti School and Wharepaina School, Reporoa.

To see the photographs and read about this fascinating history come to the Library's 2nd floor, Don Stafford Room, Heritage Collection.

Monday, 6 July 2015

Rotorua a Tourists Linguistic Nightmare

Rotorua Place Names for Tourists of 1906.

This masterpiece by an unknown author caught my eye when I was browsing through Papers Past, it seems not much has changed for the unsuspecting tourist! There is much to be learned from our history and this database is worth a look, as, in times past there was little, if anything, that could not be published in the newspapers. 

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Matariki Flax Crafts

Matariki Kites

Kites were flown for recreation, but they also had other purposes. They were used for divination – to gauge whether an attack on an enemy stronghold would be successful, or to locate wrongdoers. They were also a means of communication. It is said that when the founding ancestor of Ngāti Porou, Porourangi, died in Whāngārā, on the East Coast, a kite was flown and his brother Tahu, the founding ancestor of Ngāi Tahu, was able to see it from the South Island. Sometimes people would release a kite and follow it, claiming and occupying the place where it landed.
Kites were flown to celebrate the start of the Māori New Year, when Matariki (the Pleiades) appeared in the mid-winter night sky.
Source :

To mark Matariki next week, Rotorua District Library, is having a Workshop and a Kite Flying event. Don't Miss Out.