First-ever Māori dictionary for Waikato-Tainui dialect

By D'Angelo Martin

Waikato-Tainui has launched a Māori dictionary specific to the Waikato-Tainui dialect.  He Puna Kupu He Manawa aa-Whenua is a historic collection sourced from Tainui experts for descendants and others to treasure.

"Rāhui Papa, spokesman for Te Kīngitanga, says the book was intended to preserve traditional forms that are commonly only heard from elders who descend from Tainui". 

The book was launched last night. 

"Jarred Boon of Ngāti Maniapoto iwi says [this is] a tāonga for the people and for the next generation of Waikato- and of course to those who find interest in learning our dialect."

"At home, the English language is what people refer to first, but the aim is to change that mindset for te reo Māori to be a main priority for the people.  Some of us miss the old reo and in that sense, we want to revitalise and ensure that it is around for when the next generation comes through," says Papa.

Talks are already underway to develop a series of books.

"As one of our most prominent reo exponents, Timoti [Karetu] says, the reo needs to be correct, the reo needs to be Māori.  To add on to that, tonight we make sure that our reo is Tainui."

The book will be available for purchase at the Koroneihana celebration from tomorrow onwards.