Te Reo Māori literature flying off the shelves

May 30, 2024

Te Reo Māori literature flying off the shelves

Books ranging from matauranga Māori to Māori books for tamariki decorate the shelves of Tāmaki Makaurau’s bookstores and libraries. PHOTO: Madison Derbyshire-Smith

Auckland libraries are seeing an increase in Māori titles, says Auckland library spokesperson.

Auckland Council’s Acting Head of Library and Learning Services, Stacey Smith, says that both children’s bilingual books, learning tikanga and Te Reo books alike are popular amongst Aotearoa, particularly in Tamaki Makaurau.

“This commitment to matāuranga Māori ensures that material regarding te ao Māori and te reo Māori is accessible for all Aucklanders.

“A Māori collection is placed prominently in each of our 56 libraries, and a Māori reference collection is held at each of our research centres.”

The websites of both Whitcoulls and Paper Plus have an extensive selection of Māori books, with many for the upcoming Matariki public holiday in stock.

406 books have been catalogued within New Zealand in the month of April, including Ako Tamariki: children's te reo Māori activity book and Nanny Rina's amazing nets, which are two of the many Māori inclusions last month.

“We recognise the unique place of Māori as tangata whenua and invest in collections to promote te reo Māori and to provide access to Māori knowledge, heritage, and identity,” says Smith.

43 per cent of Aucklanders believe that it's important to be surrounded in Māori culture in our day to day lives.

Kat Quin a children’s book author with many published Māori and bilingual books, says that the accessibility of having Māori titles is incredibly important to normalizing the language for everyone.

“Having books means that Tamariki have access to the language

“You’re always learning, so you can never know everything.”

Quin also emphasises the importance of normalizing the language for all, particularly in a time of “government pushback” with the removal of Māori translations in official organization titles.

“Let’s push forward and do the mahi.”

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