Te Wiki O Te Reo Māori - Māori Language Week 2016
It is Māori language week in Aotearoa (New Zealand) from the 4th – 10th July 2016.
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
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. 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.
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.
And of course there is Kaikōura – The meaning of the name Kaikoura is 'meal of crayfish'. This name was given by Tamaki-te-rangi after he stopped over to eat here while chasing his runaway wives….