Towel poe

Towel poe, too rang e, why rack ey.

Can’t recognise these? These are place names we say all of the time! What if it was written as Taupō, Turangi or Wairakei? Often you hear place names being said “how we’ve always said it!” or “how my mum and dad taught me”.

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Room 7 has been working hard at ensuring we are pronouncing towns and road names properly and correctly in Te Reo Māori.

We learned that it’s important to say names properly. It’s disrespectful to say town names wrong, like if someone kept saying my name wrong I would be mad.

Saying names correctly is a way of showing respect. Te Reo Māori is a special language, and saying names right is a good start into showing respect to tangata whenua and to all those who have known and used this Te Reo Māori for generations before us. 

These names have special meaning and are often names of important Māori tipuna or ancestors. Imagine finding out the place you live in, or your road name is connected to a famous Māori chief!

I learned how to say my road -  Tuhingamata properly. Not just ‘tomato’ something like I used to do as a kid.

Before this, I didn’t know how to say the proper names for our school streams. Now I have learnt how to pronounce them properly.

It’s not just about learning new words - saying these names right is like opening a door to stories, respect and understanding. Some of us found it helpful to break the names into smaller buts, just like Louie explains in the video. Next time you’re out on a road trip, give it a try! Say those town names. If you’re not sure, break it down, practise, or ask your tamariki for some help.

2024 Hill

Teagan Hill

My journey in education began in 2016 as a teacher aide. My passion only grew as I worked with the students around me, and I began my teacher training.

Wairakei Primary is a place where I myself can continue as a learner and also support the students in my class on their learning journey. There is a real community feel from both the whānau of the school and the staff within, which makes it feel like home.

I moved to Taupō in 2021 for a change of scenery from my hometown of Thames, where I spent most of my life. In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with friends and whānau at the beach or riverside in and around the Coromandel.


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