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New regional Māori cultural app Te Kupenga launched today

Te Kupenga launch photo

A new Māori cultural app launched today called Te Kupenga is being described as an exciting step forward for Hawke’s Bay’s five councils.

Te Kupenga is the result of collaboration between the Māori specialist teams in the councils, and the information will 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 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.

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council 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 Hawke’s Bay region. 

“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,” says Mr Palmer.

Central Hawke’s Bay District Council, chief executive Monique Davidson, says this 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. 

“It’s the start of something big for us in local government, as we commit our people to embracing and celebrating our national and local taonga with our actions and words. Mauri ora!”

Wairoa District Council is pleased to have contributed to the development of Te Kupenga. \

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.

Hastings chief executive To'osavili Nigel Bickle says the Te Kupenga app will support the actions Hastings District 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.

Napier City Council Chief Executive Dr Steph Rotorangi also welcomes Te Kupenga.

“This is an important step for us, it will increase understanding and awareness, and help with the existing relationships we have with mana whenua,” she says.

22 February 2021

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