Topic: Education

Māori language web series challenges perspectives

By Mere McLean

A Māori language web series has tackled sensitive issues with humour and a Māori world view. 

Rere Te Whiu, a web series funded by Te Māngai Pāho is gaining momentum with over 17,000 views. The show targets Māori language speakers and addresses topics that in english could be considered taboo.

Matai Smith (Rongowhakaata) says, “Here we are in the digital age our children know how to use Facebook, internet in order to access these things that would only be my worry. Besides that, a big mihi to Kristin for creating such an entertaining show.”

But producers of the show say the series has been created from a Māori world view.

Kristin Ross (Ngāti Kahu) says, “ the series has been created from a Māori world view. Don’t let english concepts guide our thinking, you need a Māori world view to really appreciate it.”

Smith says, “For entertainment, Rere Te Whiu is right up there. Personally its very entertaining and educational at the same time.”

Rere Te Whiu is a web series that teaches speakers and learners of the Māori language how to negotiate the subtleties of Māori idioms and colloquial phrases in the appropriate context.

Ross says, “It is different when you are referring to "intercourse" in Māori as opposed to English so the nature of what you mean will be lost in the translation but the main point is that the language is being used.”

Hōhepa Tuahine (Te Arawa, Tūhoe) says, “I want those who are Māori speakers to be able to judge this show.”

This is the second series of Rere Te Whiu. It can be accessed via their Facebook page.