Tokelau Language Week – 23 – 29 October 2016


This week we celebrate Tokelau Language week – Te Vaiaho o te Gagana Tokelau.

2016 Theme

This year’s theme, is ‘Pokotau ki au kapuga – Ke mau mai tau foe’, which translates as ‘Challenge the size of the swirl made by your paddle’. This encourages Tokelauan families to take every opportunity available to learn, teach and hold on to their language, culture and identity.


Tokelau is territory  of New Zealand and we supply about 60% of its Government budget and are responsible for its defence and security. New Zealand Foreign Affairs and Trade has more information on its governance, trade and aid.

Tokelau is made up of 3 coral atolls called Atafu, Fakaofo and Nukunonu. Its actual land area is only around 12 square kilometres which are spread over 300,000 square kilometres. You cannot fly to Tokelau but you can access it by sea from Sāmoa which is 500 kilometres away. The Government of Tokelau website shares more information on the villages on these three atolls as well as their history which includes Peruvian enslavement in the 1860s and their colourful culture. For a taste of Tokelauan traditional dance, here is a video from the 12th Festival of Pacific Arts, in Guam this year.

Tokelauans in New Zealand

More than 7000 Tokelauans live in New Zealand compared with about 1380 who live in Tokelau.  You can read about the first arrivals of  Tokelauans  in New Zealand in the 1950s and 60s in Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand.

Tokelauan Language

Simple phrases              Meaning                         Response                          Meaning

Mālō nī!                           Hello                               Mālō                                  Hello

Tālofa nī!                         Hello                               Tālofa                                Hello

Tūlou nī!                          Excuse me                      E lelei                                Its ok

E ā mai koe?                   How are you? (to 1)      Ko au e mālohi                 I am well

E ā mai koulua?             How are you? (to 2)      Ko māua e mālolohi       We are both well

E ā mai koutou?             How are you? (>2)        Ko mātou e mālolohi      We are all well

See The Ministry for Pacific Peoples for a downloadable language resource.  Tau Gagana Tokelau and Government of Tokelau websites also have useful language resources.

Tokelauan resources in our Library

Pasifika subject guide

For a guide to books, databases and websites which include Pasifika nations including resources for Tokelau.


Macgregor, G., Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum, & New Zealand Electronic Text Centre. (2006). Ethnology of Tokelau Islands.


Wolffram, P., Alewhohio, Kalameli Teinawho Ihaia, Ahelemo, Nive, Kele, Tipaha, & Handmade Productions Aotearoa. (2011). Te to’kie i nukunonu an introduction to Tokelau weaving. N.Z.]: Handmade Productions Aotearoa.


Baker, V., & Tokelau Wellington Leadership Group. (2011). Ko loto o toku fale = Inside my house (Learning the Tokelau language). Porirua, N.Z.]: Published for the Tokelau Wellington Leadership Group by Vai-Creative Pub.

Baker, V., & Tokelau Wellington Leadership Group. (2011). Ko nā fuainumela = Numbers 1-10 (Learning the Tokelau language). Porirua, N.Z.]: Published for the Tokelau Wellington Leadership Group by Vai-Creative Pub.

Baker, V., & Tokelau Wellington Leadership Group. (2011). Ko na lanu = Colours (Learning the Tokelau language). Porirua, N.Z.]: Published for the Tokelau Wellington Leadership Group by Vai-Creative Pub.

Dominion Post. (2004). Ethnicity : Celebrating Wellington’s cultural diversity. Wellington [N.Z.]: Dominion Post.

Huntsman, J., & Hooper, Antony. (1996). Tokelau : A historical ethnography. Auckland {N.Z.} :: Auckland University Press.

Huntsman, J., & Kalolo, Kelihiano. (2007). The future of Tokelau : Decolonising agendas, 1975-2006. Auckland, N.Z.: Auckland University Press.

Kaeppler, A., Blackburn, Mark, & Blackburn, Carolyn. (2010). Polynesia : The Mark and Carolyn Blackburn collection of Polynesian art. Honolulu: Mark and Carolyn Blackburn : Distributed by the University of Hawaiʻi Press.

Magee, J. (2011). New to New Zealand : Ethnic communities in Aotearoa : A handbook. (5th ed.). Hamilton, N.Z.]: Ethnic New Zealand Trust.

Tokelau. Ofiha o na Matakupu Tokelau. (1986). Tokelau dictionary. Apia, Western Samoa: Office of Tokelau Affairs.

Architecture and Art abound this long Labour Weekend in Christchurch

Spring has arrived and it is ideal time to get out and about and explore some of the events hosted in the city. This weekend 21-24th October FESTA (Festival of Transitional Architecture) is hosting a number of events. Enjoy imaginative architectural installations, workshops, food, talks, pop-up projects, family events, foraging tours, live performance, artworks and more. The headline event, Lean Means, is set to attract thousands and is live for one night only on Saturday 22 October (rain date 23 October). Lots of people, companies and institutions are involved in creating FESTA including the Ara Department of Architectural Studies.

If you haven’t already taken part in Scape Public Art you might like to with lots of new temporary art installed around the city.  Scape is on until 12th November. Find the programme for Scape here.

We hope everyone enjoys a fun and safe weekend, and just a reminder that the Library will be closed on Monday 24th of October only as it is Labour Day. We will be open over the weekend as usual.

Nutrition and mental health talk – Wednesday 19th, 12-1pm


Julia Rucklidge will be presenting a talk on nutrition and mental health on Wednesday 19th, 12-1, in the Imagitech Theatre which is in the Rakaia Centre, City campus, Christchurch.

Julia J Rucklidge, PhD is a Professor of Clinical Psychology in the Department of Psychology at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand. Originally from Toronto, she did her training in neurobiology (McGill) and Clinical Psychology (University of Calgary). Her interests in nutrition and mental illness grew out of her own research showing poor outcomes for children with significant psychiatric illness despite receiving conventional treatments for their conditions. For the last 6 years, she has been investigating the role of micronutrients in the expression of mental illness, specifically ADHD, Bipolar Disorder, anxiety and more recently, stress and PTSD associated with the Canterbury earthquakes.

Julia has also presented on Ted X if you miss seeing her this Wednesday 19th at lunchtime.

World Cerebral Palsy Day – 5th October


Wednesday the 5th of October marks world Cerebral Palsy Day. Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a physical disability that affects movement and balance. It is the most common physical disability in childhood.

Cerebral Palsy is caused by a one-time brain injury, either during foetal development or in infancy. In New Zealand, CP affects 7000 people, one third of those being under 21.

This year, world CP day is focusing on “Here I am”. The idea that while those with CP may move, think and communicate differently, they have the same needs and rights as all people. There is a need to break down barriers (physical and perceived) to allow those with CP to reach their potential.

Our library has an ebook which includes more information about CP in Chapter 24 of Batshaw, Roizen & Lottrechiano (2014) Children with disabilities . Just use your Ara username and password to read this when prompted.

For more information see

Posted on behalf of Rose Edgar – Disability Services, Student Advisor