18 Aug 2015

Call for more books in Te Reo Māori

9:11 am on 18 August 2015

The author of the book which won the Māori Language Award at the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults says she wants to see more books translated into Te Reo Māori.

Sacha Cotter.

Sacha Cotter. Photo: Supplied

Sacha Cotter's book, Keys, was translated by Kawata Teepa into a book called Ngā Kī.

Te Reo Māori language adviser Stephanie Pohe-Tibble said that Mr Teepa demonstrated his ability to draw from te ao Māori (the traditional Māori world) and te auo hou (the modern world) in his use of metaphor and descriptive language.

The story is about a little girl who is tucked into bed and told stories by her father after his jingling keys wake her when he gets home from work at night.

Ms Cotter said the translation was challenging for Kawata.

"In the book there's made-up words and there's a 'zippenburger', he uses words that don't even exist in Māori.

"He has kind of done what I have with English, where I've made up my own words and he's done the same with Te Reo. He's done a great job doing that."

She said the book was based on her childhood memory of her father jingling his keys when he came home from a night shift and told her stories as he tucked her in to bed.