A new Māori cultural app has been launched called Te Kupenga by Hawke’s Bay’s five councils (HDC, NCC, HBRC, Central Hawke’s Bay and Wairoa).
Called ‘Te Kupenga’, it’s the result of collaboration between the Māori specialist teams in the councils and its contents aim to improve understanding of Te Reo Māori and Tikanga, as well as local knowledge about Treaty settlement entities and tangata whenua of Te Matau a Māui (the fishhook of Maui, Hawke’s Bay).
HBRC Te Pou Whakarae, Pieri Munro says Te Kupenga is a cultural tool developed principally for the five councils’ 1,500 staff and elected representatives. “The app will enable council staff to have quick access to mihi, karakia and waiata. It will also hold a range of information including Marae protocol, pronunciation guides, maps relevant to this rohe (territory), and the Treaty of Waitangi. “Te Kupenga promotes use of Te Reo Māori and Tikanga as part of a personal inventory that will benefit people across Hawkes’s Bay and beyond,” he says.
The name Te Kupenga comes from Te Kupenga a Te Huki, a celebrated ancestor of Ngāti Kahungunu, whose greatest achievement was to create unity through networking. The app was developed by Kiwa Digital and cost $40,000, a sum shared across the five councils.
HBRC chief executive James Palmer says Te Kupenga will be a valuable cultural tool for council staff and elected representatives across Te Matau a Māui.
“The aim of the app is to help staff and councillors be more responsive and proactive in regard to Treaty principles across our business. We want to support our staff to have absolute comfort and confidence in their engagement with tangata whenua.”
Central Hawke’s Bay District Council chief executive Monique Davidson says the tool is an exciting step forward in their commitment to building cultural capability, understanding, appreciation, respect and confidence in te reo, me ōna tikanga Māori. Wairoa District Council’s acting chief executive Kitea Tipuna says the council is a partner organisation in the Te Wairoa ReoRua strategy which aims to make Wairoa a bilingual community by 2040 and the council’s Te Reo Māori policy is another way to demonstrate leadership in seeing Te Reo Māori flourish in the Wairoa community.
“This new app is another tool Wairoa District Council is able to use to support our staff and also support the wider region in seeing our reo thrive,” he says.
HDC chief executive To’osavili Nigel Bickle says the app will support the actions the council currently takes to support staff to use te reo every day and gain a deeper understanding of Māori customs and traditions.
“It will also support the Heretaunga Ararau Te Reo Māori Policy and Action Plan we launched last year, which aims to raise cultural awareness and promote the use of te reo not only within our organisation but also throughout our wider community,” he says.
NCC chief executive Dr Steph Rotorangi also welcomes Te Kupeng and says it will increase understanding and awareness and help with the existing relationships the council has with mana whenua.
Staff will be able to start using the app this week.