Gay fairytale translated into Māori

By Aroha Treacher
  • North Island: East Coast

The gay love story told in the children's book The Promised Land has been given a new lease of life with its Māori translation Whenua Taurangi.

While the book has received online criticism, the translators of the Māori version say it's important for all stories to be told in the Māori language.

"It does hurt to hear those kinds of things because some of our family are gay, they are entitled to find love, to have a family, to have children find a partner that brings them happiness, they're people just the same as us," says Te Ama Rere-Tai Rangihuna.

Te Ama Rere-Tai along with her older sister Te Ara Ripeka Rangihuna from Kahungunu were approached to translate it into the Māori language.

It's a 38-page e-book that tells the love story between a prince and a farm boy, the English version written by Adam Reynolds and Chaz Harris which was released on Valentine's Day this year.

"I haven't seen a book like this before that talks about gay relationships, but to me, we shouldn't have to hide this from our children because their shock at seeing it can be very embarrassing for gay children, all because they don't know," says Te Ara Ripeka.

Both sisters have genealogical links to Ngāti Kahungunu and Ngāti Porou and have grown up with the Māori language.