Darth Ngāpuhi the 'Dark Lord' championing te reo Māori to TikTok sci-fi nerds

By Kelvin McDonald

Science-fiction nerds have a bronzed 'Dark Lord' championing te reo Māori online, Darth Ngāpuhi aka Green MP Teanau Tuiono (Te Uriroroi, Ngāpuhi, Ngāi Takoto). 

Tuiono, whose Green Party portfolios include Education and Security and Intelligence among others, may now be able to stake claim to a new portfolio - Sci-fi one-liners for Te Wiki o te Reo Māori - after 'boldly going where no Māori has gone before' on TikTok this week.

@darthngapuhi Sci-fi One Liners for Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori - this one is from Star Trek. Oranga Mauroa, Oranga Hua. Live Long and Prosper 🖖🏾#startrek #tewikiotereomāori ♬ original sound - Darth Ngāpuhi

"Kia ora Nerds, it's Te Wiki o te Reo Māori and this year I thought I would boldly go where no Māori has ever bothered to go before - probably because they've got more important things to do," a straight-faced Tuiono said in the first of his TikTok videos.

This year Tuiono took to translating one-liners from some of his favourite science-fiction shows and movies into te reo Māori, starting with Te Hiko Whetu, Star Trek, and a famous Vulcan salutation.

"'Oranga Mauroa, Oranga Hua. Live Long and Prosper.'

"You might have another way of saying that. You can chuck that in the comments. Maybe I'll check it out - probably won't, I'm pretty busy."

@darthngapuhi Another SciFi One-Liner for Te Wiki o te Reo Māori this one is from ‘Back to the Future’ ‘Te wāhi e haere nei tātou, hai aha noa he rori.’ ‘Where we're going, we don't need roads’ #tewikiotereomāori #scifi #backtothefuture ♬ original sound - Darth Ngāpuhi

Next up, he turned his attention to the 80s blockbuster, Back to the Future, and the DeLorean time machine.

"A lot of people are impressed by the 2022 Tesla. I'm not, I'm impressed by the 1985 DeLorean because that car was electric and travelled through time. And not only that, when they upgraded it, it ran on garbage.

"So, the one-liner from that film is: 'Te wāhi e haere nei tātou, hai aha noa he rori,'" he said. "Where we're going, we don't need roads."

@darthngapuhi Another sci-fi one liner for Te Wiki o te Reo Māori Kia tau te āinga ki a koe - May the Force be with you I’ve also seen Kia kaha te kaha ki a koe and Turou Hawaiki Where am I getting these sci-fi gems you may ask - well from the one and only Tūhoe SithLord himself Kawata Teepa #tewikiotereomāori #scifi #starwars ♬ original sound - Darth Ngāpuhi

As any Darth Ngāpuhi worth his Empire would do, Tuiono wrapped up his te reo trilogy with Pakanga i ngā whetu, Star Wars.

"There's a couple of ways to say this one that I've seen because I'm into evidence-based research, I'm in the Greens.

"It's 'May the Force be with you'. The way I say it is 'Kia tau te āinga ki a koe'."

"I saw on Twitter that Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) said, 'Kia kaha te kaha ki a koe'.

"Dude's a Jedi, I'm not, so you can do it that way as well."

However, Tuiono said "Kaha's very general though. Āinga is a bit more specific to Force."

"I also saw another translation is ... Turou Hawaiki."

"It literally translates as 'the glistening of the homeland of Hawaiki'."

Tuiono said Hawaiki is very Pacific-orientated, though.

"If I was from the ice planet Hoth or Tatooine, would I know where Hawaiki' is? Really?" 

As he has done with his other TikToks this week, Tuiono signed off with words of encouragement.

"Tēnā koutou te whānau. Kia kaha te kōrero Māori. Kia kaha te reo Māori."