Te Wiki O Te Reo - Maori Language Week 2015

It is Māori language week in Aotearoa (New Zealand) from the 27th July – 2nd August 2015.

Te wiki o te reo maori

With this in mind I thought I would introduce you to some of the common Māori words you would hear around our booking office and out at sea when visiting Whale Watch Kaikōura.

First off our vessels all have Māori names, and along with these names they have beautiful Māori designs along the side of them to signify the meaning.

Wāwāhia – Tipuna (named after the Grandfather of one of the founders of the company)

Tohorā  – Ancestral whale

Paikea – Whale Rider

Aoraki – Ancestral God

Whale Watch Vessel - Aoraki

Some common words you might hear from the staff at our booking office or our guides out at sea could include:

Kia Ora – be well/healthy but informally used as a greeting - hello

Manuhiri - Visitor

Nau Mai Haere Mai – Warm greeting to you all

Haere Ra – Farewell (to those leaving)

Waka - Boat

Aihe - Dolphin

Duskies Haley Baxter

Aihe - Dusky Dolphins

Kekeno – Fur Seal

Nz Fur Seal at Point Kean

NZ Fur Seal at Point Kean in Kaikōura

Manaakitanga respect for hosts or kindness to guests, to entertain, to look after

Mōrena (Good) morning!

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Sunrise over the marina in South Bay

Te Waipounamu – South Island

Moana – sea

Kai – food. E kai – command to eat

Pahi – bus

We currently have four semi-resident sperm whales feeding in the Kaikōura canyon that we have given names to. These sperm whales having different markings, scars, shaped dorsal fins and tails, we have been seeing these three whales for some time now off our coastline and have become good friends of ours.

Tiaki – Guardian. He is one of our most dominant sperm whales who seems to look out for the younger sperm whales that visit Kaikōura.

Tiaki

Semi-resident sperm whale Tiaki

Tutu – Shortened version of the Māori word Tutumairekurai which means Special Ocean Dweller. Tutu has a dorsal fin that is shaped much the same as a Hectors Dolphin which has been given this Maori name.

tutu 7

Semi-resident sperm whale Tutu

Manu – Birdie. The silhouette of Manu’s tail when diving down looks much like that of a bird in flight (if you use your imagination).

Manu 6

Semi-resident sperm whale Manu

Aotearoa – Named due to the white scarring under the top end of his dorsal fin which kind of looks like the outline of the North Island.

And of course there is Kaikōura – The meaning of the name Kaikōura is 'meal of crayfish'. This name was given by Tamaki-te-rangi after he stopped over to eat here while chasing his runaway wives….

Crayfish

Kaikōura - To eat crayfish

Kaikōura’s Summer weather has been a treat this past week, making for some epic sea conditions and amazing clear sightings of marine life out on the water.

It seems like Tiaki and Tutu, two of our favourite whales to see out in the Canyon, have been getting reacquainted since they’ve reunited, as this marks the second week in a row that we’ve seen catching a breather up on the surface and diving down to feed together. Looks like they missed each other as much as we missed them whilst they were away!

Other semi-residential Sperm Whales we saw this week included Mati Mati and Aoraki as well as many transient Sperm Whales who are constantly drawn to Kaikōura due to the abundance of food on offer. As with the majority of our tours, we sighted NZ Fur Seals, Hectors Dolphins, Dusky Dolphins and a variety of seabirds including the Great Wandering Albatross.

Who else is planning to kick start their Summer with a whale watching tour? Bring your family and friends along too and make it an adventure! Buy a whale watching gift voucher or, better yet, check out our Marine Combo deal! Get above, on and below the water with a scenic flight, whale watching boat trip and swim with the dolphins! The ultimate gift this Christmas and one of the best ways to make some lasting Summer memories.

Don’t forget, State Highway 1 North is re-opening this Friday afternoon. And yes, the world famous Nins Bin caravan will be ready to welcome you back! So if you’re making your way along the Coast, stop to enjoy the warm weather, soak up the scenes and take in this incredible new landscape that Kaikōura is quickly becoming known for. They’ll be serving freshly caught crayfish and all that other good stuff including mussels, whitebait and the classic Kiwi fish n’ chips right on the beach – does it get any better?!

ROAD ACCESS UPDATE

There is a possibility of short delays with it being 30km/hour through parts of the route. The full rebuild of the highway will continue in 2018. Check the NZTA website for road updates before traveling. INLAND ROUTE 70 IS OPEN 24/7.

KAIKOURA BUSINESS UPDATE

Kaikōura is open for business. For latest updates on accommodation, restaurant and retail information please contact the team at the Kaikōura I-Site who will be able to help you find what suits your needs during your stay in Kaikōura. 

ORGANISED TRANSPORT OPTIONS FROM CHRISTCHURCH

Hasslefree ToursCanterbury Leisure Tours & Kaikoura Express have daily services from Christchurch to Kaikōura with a return service from Christchurch. Kiwi Experience now have the option of a day tour out of Christchurch for their travellers. Intercity Bus also provides a bus service between Christchurch and Kaikoura return.

Progress on the work being done on the roads (along with harbour repairs) can be found on the dedicated Kaikoura Earthquake Response page provided by the team at NZTA. This page is updated weekly on Fridays. Work is also underway on the railway network, please be aware and take care when using rail crossings.

The team at Whale Watch Kaikoura.