MEDIA RELEASE: Toi te Kupu - Language is the source

Monday 19 December 2016. 

Toi Tangata has just released a revised edition of its popular health resource, Toi te Kupu.

Toi te Kupu, the Māori health dictionary, was first published in 2014 as a collaborative effort between the NZ Heart Foundation and Toi Tangata.

The resource was developed to help normalise te reo Māori in and around kai. However, during the development of the book, it became apparent there needed to be words for cooking, cooking equipment, and the preparation of food. As food is one of the main determinants of health, words with connections to health were sought.

“How can we have conversations with our tamariki and mokopuna about food and health if we don't know the appropriate kupu? We would have to revert to English, which often changes the nuances of the meaning,” says Mason Ngawhika, of Toi Tangata.

Proving popular, both the Heart Foundation and Toi Tangata quickly ran out of books and a new batch need to be printed. Toi Tangata used this opportunity to create a revised edition and included exercise and fitness language.

“The inclusion of a physical activity section was an intuitive next step as nutrition and physical activity often go together. The collation of kupu required an extensive consultation with a number of reo experts and reo novelists,” says Hariata Tai Rakena, of Toi Tangata.

“It wasn't the easiest process but I'm very happy with the outcome,” says Mason.

Health has always been important to te iwi Māori with the word ‘kia ora’ literally meaning ‘be healthy’. However, traditionally health was seen as a collective obligation rather than the personal responsibility often termed today.

I te tau 2014 i tāngia tuatahitia te papa kupu Toi te Kupu. He mahinga ngātahi a te NZ Heart Foundation rāua ko a Toi Tangata.

I whakahuatia ai te pukapuka nei ki te whakai-ia-rā te reo e pā ana ki te kai. Heoi, nā ēnei mahi ka puta te hiahia mō ngā kupu tunu kai, taka kai me te taputapu kai. Nā te mea ko kai te tino iho o te hauora, i whakaaro ake ai kia kimi kupu hauora anō.

“Me pēhea e kōrero ai i ngā kōrero hauora ki a tātou tamariki mokopuna me kore ake ngā kupu tōtika? Me huri kē ki te reo Pākehā,” i kī a Mason, o Toi Tangata.

I te paunga tere a ngā pukapuka, i whakatau kia whakatāngia anōtia, heoi, ko te whakaaro kia tāpirihia anōtia ko ngā kupu whakakori tinana.

“Mārama te kite atu, me uru ngā kupu kori i te mea, rāua tahi ko te kai he haere ngātahi,” i kī a Hariata Tai Rakena, o Toi Tangata.

Mai i rānō, he tikanga nui te hauora. Ko te kupu “kia ora” e kī ana, kia ora rawa tō āhua. Otirā, ko te rerekētanga ōnaianei, he painga te oranga a tangata, o mua, he painga kē te oranga a hāpori.

 

About Toi Tangata

Toi Tangata is a national Māori public health agency which focuses on developing and delivering positive health initiatives to accelerate health outcomes for Māori.  They are a team of specialists dedicated to implementing health approaches informed by mātauranga Māori.

As a national public health leader, Toi Tangata acts as key advisors to the Ministry of Health for Māori approaches to public health and physical activity.

ENDS

 

For additional information please contact:

Mason Ngawhika: 021 0888 9817 mason@toitangata.co.nz

Hariata Tai Rakena: 021520770 hariata@toitangata.co.nz

Back to News