Meri Kirihimete e ngā mihi o te tau hou! Merry Christmas and all the best for what comes next!

Kia ora koutou!

We have had such a tino toritori year! Like many of you will be, we are wondering where the time went? Remember when we launched our 2nd series of pukapuka early on in 2017 in our very own city of literature! Here we are sharing a waiata with the fans :) at the launch. Remember how Kirsten made me wear that floral kimono?!

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Rua went down very well with our audience and seemed to be a good news story for the media too! Kirsten and I were out there in The Herald, Kia Ora Magazine (pictured), Oh Baby, The Sapling, Little Treasures, Mana Magazine, Te Karaka and even Maori TV! Wū Wū! We had to reprint just a few months after publishing!

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Te Puaka Matariki was a busy time for us creating resources for our Reo Pēpi Whānau to share and telling paki waitara-old stories to captivate imaginations :) Such fun!

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We love getting together for hui-look out for our taua years! This year our mission was to get to Te Rito Maioha-The NZ Early Childhood Educators Conference. We had such an epic time connecting with our greatest champions-kaiako!

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We always make a fuss and have a pāti for Te wiki o Te Reo Māori! This year we practised storytelling and waiata for weeks before visiting libraries to meet our Reo Pēpi audience kanohi ki te kanohi :) Of course Kirsten created a mīharo pungawerewere costume-she was very scary!

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Here's our gorgeous kōtiro Mihiata who helped us with so much mahi this year. Including packing up this crate of pukapuka for whānau working with Brainwaves Trust.

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A pīki highlight this year was creating a bilingual calendar with all the NZ dates and holidays in both English and Te Reo Māori! Our tino ataahua editor Kristin Jerram helped us suss all the right kupu. It felt really great to put out something we have always wanted to see avaialable!

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Heoi anō...So on it goes. Kirsten has been working on some sketches for development into illustrations for our upcoming third series-which we hope to launch in 2018! A sneaky piki below for you if you made it this far! Thanks for all your tautoko this year! Have a safe and Meri Kirihimete from all of us Reo Pēpi Whānau.

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Ngā Pēpi, Ngā roro me Ngā pukapuka! Babies, Brains and Books!

Nō hea kākano iti, e puawai ana he Kauri.

From a small seed, a tall tree will blossom.

A baby's brain is only 15% formed at birth-further development of the remaining 85% happens in the first 3 years. So the early experiences of children are critical to connections made in their brains. Healthy, positive experiences lead to healthy, positive brain connections.

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Reading with pēpi from birth lays the groundwork a child's later abilities in literacy. Encouraging positive associations with books and reading in our tamariki, supports understanding of and access to the world of literature. AND sitting cosy with a child and sharing a book is arguably the most rewarding activity one can engage in!

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We believe in creating positive pathways for all tamariki! We support The Brainwave Trusts mahi delivering these important brain development messages to whānau who need them most. We sent along 100 copies of Kanohi-My Face to be distributed to whānau through their networks within programmes that support parents as first educators. Here are some of the pictures form one of the sessions-thanks to the whānau and the team at The Brainwave Trust for sharing :). Arohatia tō mahi! Love your work!

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Ehara i te tī! You only live once!

Ehara i te tī! Draws from a whakatauki about Tī kouka-Cabbage trees which almost always grow again when cut back. We, unlike the mighty Tī, we only get the one life.

Heoi anō-However we do feel some whakawhānaungatanga with our beloved cabbage tree in our journey with Te Reo Māori. Kirsten and I are life long learners of Te Reo Māori and we are, to date, eternal beginners! We have been "cut back" on our missions with te reo, through long periods absence, busy (disruptive) life events and times when our emphasis was just elsewhere. But we always returned to the security of our culture, we feel reassured- not by our fluency and prowess with Te Reo but by our own dogged commitment to learning a beautiful language.

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Like the Tī kouka that has been cut back we really started to thrive with Te Reo Māori when some new shoots appeared! Our tamariki are the impetus and the constant reminder to us to keep learning, keep trying and keep using Te Reo Māori in our lives.

Te Reo Māori should be normalised in every single day but we think Te wiki ō Te Reo Māori is the pīwari-perfect time to take stock and renew commitments. This year we were blown away by the out pour of aroha for Te Reo on so many fronts. It seemed that everyone had been saving up their best ideas and mahi for te wiki. The media was awash with initiatives to whakamana te reo, new business idea's were launched, books were released, exhibitions were hosted, performances were enjoyed, hui were attended, noho were enjoyed! We felt the potential, we recognised the uplift. A momentum is certainly building. Even when cut back the Tī kouka grows and it's growing whānau-its growing! Whakatipua Raki!

 

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This year for Te wiki o Te Reo Māori Kirsten and I got together to celebrate. We took our waiata and pūrakau stories to the Selwyn District where the libraries had invited us especially to share with their communities. We are always VERY nervous about appearances like this! What if really amazing Reo Māori experts are there critiquing us?! What if we stumble? Mix up our ō's and our tō's?! But we practice, and research and practice some more. We rely on our humour, our (iffy at best) singing voices and pretty illustrations to help us charm the crowds! And you know what? It is a beautiful thing, an honour to get out there and share some Te Reo Māori and to have the efforts and earnest attempts of others shared with us.

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Source: http://www.reopepi.co.nz/blog/2017/9/18/eh...