Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Celebrating Matariki: Kids welcome international travellers

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Ormiston Junior School pupil, seven-year-old Marlowe Aira Reid with her koroua (grandfather), Te Whainoa Te Wiata at Auckland Airport.

Ka whakamānawa a Te Taunga Rerenga o Tāmaki Makaurau i a Matariki hei te 14 ō Hurai, mā te whakapāho atu i te iarere o te Taunga Rererangi, i ētahi kōrero hei mihi ki ngā kaieke waihoki hei whakamārama ake i te hiranga o Matariki. 

Auckland Airport will be celebrating Matariki on July 14, with dedicated PA announcements throughout the international and domestic terminals, greeting and farewelling travellers in te reo Māori and explaining the significance of Matariki. 

One of the voices belongs to local student Marlowe Aira Reid, 7.

Auckland Airport chief executive Carrie Hurihanganui said Auckland Airport has a unique opportunity to educate people about Matariki traditions as they arrive in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. 

“The first thing travellers will hear when they land on Kiwi soil and disembark the plane, will be te reo Māori, and meaningful messages of Matariki, over our PA system, voiced by two school children and Auckland Airport team members who speak te reo Māori. Matariki is an important time for many of our Auckland Airport employees and we want to share this with our travellers,” she said. 

The special Matariki PA messages are set to be heard by 52,000 pairs of taringa (ears) with a busy day expected at Auckland Airport on July 14. More than 14,000 international travellers are expected to arrive, with 12,000 people expected to depart.  The domestic terminal will also be busy with 13,000 arriving and 13,000 departing. 

A sample of one of the PA announcements, greeting travellers at international arrivals says:  

  • Nau mai ki Aotearoa, tau mai ki Tāmaki Makaurau. Tākina rā ko Pūanga e tōia nei a Matariki ki te pae. Mānawatia te wā, mānawatia te ātea, mānawatia ngā tohu o te tau hou Māori. Tukua tō manawa kia ngā i te mauri o Matariki. Tukua tō ngākau kia pīpiri atu ki te mahana o tō ahi kā. Tukua tō ate kia ngiha anō a mahara. Tukua ngā hara ki tua, kia wātea ai tō ātea ki mua. Mānawatia a Matariki. 
  • Welcome to Auckland, New Zealand. Today, we celebrate the rising of Matariki, the star cluster. For many Māori, it heralds the start of the New Year. As you step into Tāmaki Makaurau, immerse yourself in the magic of Matariki. For many, Matariki is a time to rest, to reconnect with loved ones and reminisce about past times, to realign with the present and reset for the future. We wish you a bountiful year ahead. Mānawatia a Matariki. 

International travellers at Auckland Airport will also continue to be welcomed by a karanga as they walk through the tomokanga (the Māori carved entrance) upon arrival.  

The PA announcements were recorded by a group of people, including two Auckland Airport employees who put their hands up to be involved – duty operations manager Gabriel Thompson and deputy crew chief operations Mataio Masina. 

Marlowe Aira Reid from Ormiston Junior School.

They were joined by Psalm-Aawhina Mahanga, a 15-year-old student from nearby Manurewa High School, as well as Ormiston Junior School pupil, seven-year-old Marlowe Aira Reid. Her koroua (grandfather), Te Whainoa Te Wiata, from Te Tari Consultants also joined in. Te Whainoa works closely with Auckland Airport, as one of the key members delivering Auckland Airport’s internal te reo Māori courses.  

“Te Whainoa is a great kaiako (teacher) to our employees who have been fortunate enough to learn from him. Not only do these courses help beginners and intermediates learn te reo Māori but it also helps with cultural competency and allows our people to learn key tikanga, or custom,” said Hurihanganui. 

“These PA recordings have the opportunity to be something we can come back to and refresh time and time again, as a way to mark special occasions. Our team members were proud to be a part of this and we look forward to seeing reactions from travellers as they come through the terminals.”

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