Drawing a fine line for Maori Language Week

News News & events

28 Jun 2013

The technology may have changed but Tā Moko artist Maia Gibbs is still firmly grounded in the designs of traditional Māori tattoos. Gibbs will demonstrate his Tā Moko skill and cultural expertise next week (1 – 3 July) in a special event for CPIT’s Māori Language Week celebrations.

CPIT’s Māori Language Week features Kapa Haka performances, weaving, an art exhibition, hangi lunches and bilingual films for the whānau (family) - with free popcorn.

As part of the celebrations Gibbs will create a special Tā Moko from 9am to 3pm at the Centre of Māori and Pasifika Achievement (CMPA) in CPIT’s Rakaia Centre. Like his mentor, renowned and influential Tā Moko artist Derek Lardelli, Gibbs works with modern instruments but uses Tā Moko to connect with the past.

“I see Tā Moko as a vehicle to connect back to my Tipuna (ancestors) from the past whilst at the same time having the opportunity to push and develop the art form by using new technology and techniques for future generations, but still keeping the traditional Korero (stories) and Kaupapa (topics/agendas) alive,” Gibbs said.

Stevie Jane Mutu

Stevie-Jane Mutu performing in the Kapa Haka.

While CPIT’s Te Puna Wanaka offers a range of language and cultural programmes, Māori Language Week is an opportunity for everyone to get a taste of Māori culture and language, says organiser and CPIT Te Kaiwhakauru Māori (Māori engagement coordinator) Manu Whata.

“Māori Language Week is a chance for people to understand us as Māori, what drives us. Our lifestyle derives from our ancestors and the activities are designed to help people understand where we come from. Whether they want to join us for a hangi or settle down to enjoy a bilingual family film or watch a performance they will be immersing themselves in our world,” he said.

As a graduate of the Bachelor of Language (Māori), Whata is an enthusiastic advocate of Te Puna Wanaka’s programmes and community connections. The opportunities offered to graduates are “endless” Whata said.

The 2013 theme for Māori language Week is Ngā ingoa Māori (Māori names). For information about events at CPIT see www.cpit.ac.nz/news-and-events/upcoming-events/maori-language-week or phone 0800 24 24 76.