What's new

Latest updates from Te Ara, Te Tai and the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Last updated December 2020. 

Te Ara – The Encyclopedia of New Zealand

New entries and updates for Te Ara, the complete guide to New Zealand’s peoples, environment, history, culture and society, include:

New Zealand Sign language

In September 2020, we launched our new Te Ara page, New Zealand Sign Language covering the history of the language, signing in deaf education, variation in signs across regions and time, the role of interpreters, and digital technology. This is the first Te Ara entry to be accompanied by video of sign language, interpreting the story. The entry was written for us by Rachel McKee and translated into sign by Sonia Pivac.

Climate Change

In July 2020, we launched our updated entry about Climate Change, written for us by scientists from the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA). Our understanding of the science of climate change is changing all the time, so it was great to have had this entry updated.

Flash Project

In 2020 we have been upgrading about 350 Adobe Flash resources with alternatives that are more accessible and responsive (so will work on mobile devices as well as desktops). Flash is no longer supported by modern browsers. We have been updating interactive diagrams, graphs, maps, video, audio and other resources.

Te Tai Treaty Settlement Stories / Te Tai Ngā Kōrero Whakatau O Te Tiriti

Recent stories (in both Te Reo and English) added to our digital storytelling programme that explores Treaty settlements and their enduring impact, Te Tai Treaty Settlement Stories, include:

Te Reo O Te Mana Māori - including biographies and timeline

Our newest Treaty Settlement story Te Mana o te Reo Māori was published online in September 2020, in partnership with Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori (Māori Language Commission). It includes a timeline of events, and 24 biographies of key people and organisations. See our press release here. All content is available in both English and te reo Māori.

Waikato–Tainui Treaty Settlement Story

The story of the Waikato-Tainui Treaty process and its enduring impact on the community was launched in September 2020, the 25th anniversary of settlement. See our press release here.

Ngati Porou

In February 2020, Ngati Porou shared their journey towards Te Tiriti settlement, including an educational resource and a documentary Moko Pu o Rongo.

Dictionary of New Zealand Biography / Ngā Tāngata Taumata Rau

New additions to the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography  the life stories for over 3,000 people who shaped our culture and history  include:

Translations into Te Reo – December 2020

E kui mā, e koro mā, koutou i eke ki ngā taumata rau i te wā ki a koutou, ka nui rā te mihi o te ngākau i ngā huarahi maha i parā mai e koutou, e whai painga ai ngā reanga o muri i a  koutou. Kua ngaro koutou i te tirohanga kanohi, engari ko ngā hua o ā koutou pukumahi, e kitea tonuhia ana, e rangona tonuhia ana, me te aha, e whāia ana ō koutou tapuwae e te tokomaha. Tīraha mai rā koutou ki te ao wairua, waiho mai mā te hunga ora e whai tonu ngā mahi i whāia e koutou, tihē mauri ora.

In December 2020 the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography released te reo Māori translations of 15 entries originally published in English:

  • Biggs, Bruce Grandison; Ngāti Maniapoto; ethnographer, linguist, champion of te reo Māori; written by Andrew Pawley, translated into te reo Māori by Te Haumihiata Mason
  • Harris, Witarina Te Miriarangi; Ngāti Whakaue; film actor, te ao Māori advocate; written by Emma Jean Kelly, translated into te reo Māori by Te Haumihiata Mason
  • Hayward, Ramai Rongomaitara; Ngāti Kahungunu, photographer, actor, director; written by Deborah Shepard, translated into te reo Māori by Te Haumihiata Mason
  • Hotere, Hone Papita Raukura (Ralph); Te Aupōuri; artist; written by Megan Tamati-Quennell, translated into te reo Māori by Te Haumihiata Mason
  • Morrison, Howard Leslie; Te Arawa; singer, entertainer, community leader; written by Chris Bourke, translated into te reo Māori by Te Haumihiata Mason
  • Rata, Matiu Waitai; Ngāti Kurī, Te Aupōuri, Ngāti Whātua; politician, union leader; written by Tiopira McDowell, translated into te reo Māori by Te Haumihiata Mason
  • Rehu-Murchie, Erihapeti; Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Māmoe, Waitaha, Ngāti Raukawa; researcher, health, human rights and environmental campaigner; written by Kirsty Dunn, translated into te reo Māori by Charisma Rangipunga
  • Rickard, Tuaiwa Hautai Kereopa (Eva); Ngāti Koata, Ngāti Toa, Tainui, Taranaki woman of mana, community leader; written by Angeline Greensill and Hineitimoana Greensill, translated into te reo Māori by Sean Ellison
  • Rupe, Carmen Tione; Ngāti Maniapoto, Ngāti Hauā, Ngāti Heke-a-Wai; drag queen entertainer, sex worker, entrepreneur, LGBTIQ+ icon; written by Lynette Townsend, translated into te reo Māori by Te Haumihiata Mason
  • Sturm, Jacqueline Cecilia; Taranaki, Te Whakatōhea; short-story writer and poet; written by Paul Millar, translated into te reo Māori by Te Haumihiata Mason
  • Szászy, Miraka; Ngāti Kurī, Te Aupōuri, Te Rarawa woman of mana, educator, leader; written by Melissa Matutina Williams, translated into te reo Māori by Simon Petricevich and Te Haumihiata Mason
  • Te Atairangikaahu Korokī Te Rata Mahuta Tāwhiao Pōtatau Te Wherowhero; Ngāti Mahuta, Ngāti Apakura, Ngāti Maniapoto; Māori queen; written by Rahui Papa and Paul Meredith, translated into te reo Māori by Te Haumihiata Mason
  • Tirikatene-Sullivan, Tini Whetu Marama; Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Kahungunu; politician, fashion icon, wahine toa; written by Helen Brown, translated into te reo Māori by Charisma Rangipunga and Hēni Jacob
  • Tūwhare, Hone; Ngāpuhi; boilermaker, poet; written by Janet Hunt, translated into te reo Māori by Te Haumihiata Mason
  • Wark, Elizabeth Cecilia (Betty); Ngāpuhi; community worker; written by Helene Connor, translated into te reo Māori by Te Haumihiata Mason

Producing content related to Māori in both te reo Māori and English has been central to the Dictionary project since the first print volume was published 30 years ago this year. The five English-language print volumes produced between 1990 and 2000 were accompanied by volumes featuring the 500 entries relating to Māori subjects in te reo Māori, produced by an in-house translation team lead by Māori editor Tairongo Amoamo.

When the Dictionary was first released online in 2001, users could toggle between te reo Māori and English versions of the entries for the first time. The Dictionary became part of Te Ara the Encyclopedia of New Zealand in 2010; collectively, the Dictionary and Te Ara constitute the largest body of te reo Māori content online and remain a key reference work for te reo users and learners.

The new translations cover the Māori entries published since the Dictionary became a purely digital product, and were made by Sean Ellison, Te Haumihiata Mason, Hēni Jacob, Charisma Rangipunga and Simon Petricevich, in some cases utilising iwi dialects and orthographic conventions. The rich contribution of our translators is now acknowledged on each biography page alongside the names of the entries’ authors.

The English-language versions of the older entries were produced without macrons and utilising certain orthographic conventions which are now out of date. We have modernised the English versions of all the Māori entries, and are gradually working our way through the non-Māori entries. We are also adding inline links and updating the source and reading lists.

Be on the lookout for a new group of Dictionary of New Zealand Biography entries in May 2021.

See previous Dictionary of New Zealand Biography / Ngā Tāngata Taumata Rau notices