Te Wiki O Te Reo Māori - Māori Language Week 2017

 2017 Māori language week

It is Māori language week in Aotearoa (New Zealand) from the 11th – 17th September 2017.

With this in mind we thought we 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

  Paikea whale watch vessel                                                          

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

Kekeno – Fur Seal

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

Mōrena - (Good) morning!

Te Waipounamu – South Island

Moana – sea

Kai – food. 

Pahi – bus

Mahi - work

There are many semi-resident sperm whales that feed in the Kaikōura canyon throughout the year. Here is an example of four 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.

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.

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).

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.

Semi-resident sperm whale tail, Tutu, in Kaikoura NZ

Semi-resident sperm whale Tutu

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…

The full name for Kaikōura being - Te Ahi Kaikōura a Tama Ki te Rangi(the fires where Tama ki te Rangi ate crayfish)

Crayfish in Kaikoura, New Zealand

In celebration of Māori Language Week please take time to watch this fantastic video from the children out at Kaikōura Suburban School showcasing how to correctly pronounce our beautiful townships name.

Mā te wā – Until next time

 

 

 

This week Kaikōura really lived up to its reputation of being a marine mecca, with a wide variety of marine mammals sighted in abundance on our tours! We saw a lot of large transient Sperm Whales visiting our Coast to indulge in the nutrient rich waters of the Hikurangi Trench, as well as Spotty Tail! A semi-residential Sperm Whale who we’ve been seeing for a while now.

We’ve also seen a great number of Pilot Whales over the week, on Tuesday we saw 50+ and then on Thursday we saw 150+! A couple of stray Humpback Whales have also been hanging around Kaikōura, which we don’t usually get to see in November, but we’re guessing they’re just enjoying the Kaikōura Canyon too much to leave!

Dolphin varieties we saw on our tours included the usual suspects, the acrobatic Duskies and endangered Hectors, and this week we saw a pod of 20+ Bottlenose. As well as seeing the smallest of the dolphin species, the Hector, we also spotted the largest – the Orca. That makes two weeks in a row of Orca sighting!

On Tuesday, the 14th of November which marked exactly 1 year on from when the 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck which raised our coastline and left our boats on dry land, we celebrated our official marina opening. Thank you to everyone’s support and well wishes over the past year, each word of encouragement has been truly appreciated.

ROAD ACCESS UPDATE

There is a possibility of short delays with it being 30km/hour through parts of the route. 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.