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New Te Kopapa Reo Maori board members receive their warrants

Sunday 5 February 2023 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Culture, National


New Te Kopapa Reo Maori board members receive their warrants
The Kopapa Reo Maori board received their new three year (2023-26) warrants yesterday. Front left: Secretary of Tauranga Vananga - Anthony Turua, the Minister of Tauranga Vananga - Minister George (Maggie) Angene, Te Kopapa Reo Maori chairperson - Makiuti Tongia. Back left: Julie Taripo Shedden, Ngavaevae Papatua, Elizabeth Ponga and Taputu Mariri. Full story on p2. Picture: MELINA ETCHES/23020320

Te Kopapa Reo Maori board members were presented with their new three-year warrants by the Minister of Tauranga Vananga, George (Maggie) Angene on Friday.

The new committee members are Ngavaevae Papatua, Julie Taripo Shedden, Taputukura Mariri, Elizabeth Ponga (new) and Makiuti Tongia (new chairperson).

Chairperson Tongia stated he would like to see the inclusion of more members to the board from the 10 inhabited islands of the Cook Islands.

Recognising that the Pa Enua have their unique Maori dialects, there is a need for representatives from these islands to contribute to the creation of “kupu ou” (new words), says Tongia.

Te Kopapa Reo Maori member and television documentary producer Julie Taripo-Shedden is back on the board for a second term.

“It is an honour and a privilege to part of this working group to standardise our Maori language words, which also helps with my career in the media,” said Taripo-Shedden.

Secretary of Tauranga Vananga, Anthony Turua congratulated the new board and acknowledged the work considering “there are more new English words so new Maori words have to be created”.

Looking ahead, Turua said following his Aotearoa New Zealand visit last year with Minister Angene, where they met with Cook Islanders, “adding representatives from New Zealand and Australia to Kopapa Reo Maori are in the pipeline”.

Due to other commitments, Papa George Matutu Teava Mataiapo of Arai-Te-Tonga has resigned from the board with Elizabeth Ponga replacing him.

A minute silence was observed for former members who have passed away: Mauri Toa, George Paniani, Henrica Wilson and Rutera Taripo.

The former Te Kopapa Reo Maori committee have achieved much during their 2020 – 2023 tenure which includes:

  • the creation of over 1000 new Maori words,
  • three workshops targeting Teaching Reo Maori in schools, by Papa Ngatoko Rongo who also published a book,
  • two workshops on translation and are near completing the standard for translation,
  • three workshops on Maori Arts – pe’e, Te Maeva Nui culture festival theme and Vairakau Maori (Traditional Maori Medicine),
  • organising the traditional sports component of the Cook Islands Games 2020 and 2022,
  • sponsored Te Mire Atu 2021 and 2022 and sponsored the Secondary Schools Maori Speech competition, and
  • provided translations to government ministries including Te Marae Ora, Tourism, Ports Authority, Office of the Prime Minister and the National Environment Service.