Northland kura creates first Māori iBook for National Library exhibition

By Talisa Kupenga

A Northland school has helped to create the first te reo Māori iBook resource for The National Library of New Zealand's He Tohu exhibition. 

The entire Te Kura Kaupapa o Whangaroa visited Wellington today, where they viewed the Treaty of Waitangi and other documents their ancestors signed. 

It's the first time these Northland students have seen the documents their ancestors signed more than 150 years ago.

Former student Te Whai Smith says, "the school has spent a lot of time learning about the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of New Zealand and the Treaty of Waitangi, but for the students to actually see the documents is another experience altogether."

Te Whai's ancestor Hare Hongi signed the Declaration of Independence. 

Together with her Whangaroa elders, Te Whai helped create the first iwi-personalised reo Māori iBook resource for the exhibition called Te Tino Rangatiratanga.

"There are very few [Māori language] resources here. This iBook will be a resource for all Māori-medium schools around the country to see Whangaroa's story about the Declaration, because it was signed in Whangaroa."

The school was one of two to take advantage of Te Puna Foundation funding, which subsidises travel costs to help get schools to the exhibition.

Head of the National Library of New Zealand and Te Puna Foundation Bill Macnaught says, "it’s a great opportunity for us to say thank you to them for working so hard to produce that learning resource for their own community but it's a great example of what other schools and communities could be doing to tell their story about how they relate to both He Whakaputanga and Te Tiriti."

Air New Zealand has also partnered with the foundation, offering free airpoints, to help schools across the country view the exhibit too.