News - 16th September 2021

Tēnā koutou kātoa, nō pākaoma


It’s Māori Language Week and we wanted to explore the Māori meanings of some of our parkrun events.


Blenheim – Waiharakeke, meaning flax stream.


Cambridge – Kemureti.


Cornwall Park – Maungakiekie, meaning mountain of the kiekie vine.


Flaxmere – Known to Māori as Paharakeke, harakeke is New Zealand flax.


Gisborne – Tūranga-nui-a-Kiwa, meaning Great standing place of Kiwa.


Hamilton Lake – The Māori name for Hamilton is Kirikiriroa, meaning “long stretch of gravel” in reference to an area on the west bank of the Waikato River.


Kapiti Coast – An abbreviation of Te Waewae-Kāpiti-o-Tara-raua-ko-Rangitane or the junction line of the boundaries between the Ngai Tara and Rangitane tribal lands.


Lower Hutt – The Hutt River was known to Māori as Te Awakairangi, meaning esteemed or precious.


Ōwairaka – Place of Wairaka; The daughter of Toroa, the commander of one of the great voyaging canoes, Mātaatua.


Porirua – The name Porirua may represent a variant of pari-rua, meaning two tides, a reference to the two arms of the Porirua Harbour.


Puarenga – Māori for flowers of sulphur.


Queenstown – Tāhuna, meaning shallow bay.


Taupo – The full Māori name is Taupō-nui-a-Tia. Literally translated, Taupō-nui-a-Tia means “The great cloak of Tia”; the explorer Tia who discovered the lake.


Tauranga – meaning safe anchorage or resting place.


University of Waikato – Waikato originated during the voyage of the Tainui canoe, which had journeyed from Polynesia. Arriving just off the mouth of the river, the crew remarked upon the kato (the pull of the river current in the sea) and thereafter the name Waikato (wai meaning water) was given to the river.


Wānaka – Sacred place of learning and is the Kai Tahu spelling of Wānanga


Whanganui Riverbank – Whanganui comes from the Māori for big bay, or big harbour.


Whāngārei has several histories into its name – One is Ngātiwai named the harbour Whangarei-te-rerenga-parāoa (the gathering place of whales). Another suggestion is the full name was either Te Whanga-o-Reitū or Te Whanga-o-Reipae. One meaning of whanga is harbour; these names mean the harbour of Reitū, or the harbour of Reipae. Two sisters, Reitū and Reipae, flew from Waikato in the form of two birds. Reipae stayed at the Kaipara. Reitū flew on and was seduced by Manaia in the harbour that bears her name. A variation of this tradition is that Reitū and Reipae arrived on the back of a single bird and that Reipae married Tāhuhu-pōtiki there. The final suggestion is Whangarei-o-te-tohorā – waiting for the breastbone of the whale.


Here’s are some other simple phrases to learn:


Tēnā koutou kātoa, nō pākaoma – Greetings from parkrun


Ngā mihi nui ki ā tātou tūao – Many thanks to our volunteers


Kei te aroha mātou ki ā pākaoma – We love going to parkrun


Mahara ki to paematua – Don’t forget your barcode


Thanks to regular contributor Alison King for compiling these insights. You can read more about parkrun in New Zealand and around the world by following Runs With A Barcode on Facebook and subscribing to the monthly magazine.

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