This week has been Maori Language week (Te Wiki o te Reo Maori).
It has now been 31 years since the Maori language Act was introduced, making te reo Maori an official language of New Zealand (alongside English and New Zealand sign language).
Just over 50% of the Opotiki population identify as Maori. Travelling further afield, there are many settlements with the central focus of the Marae to be seen.
We are lucky to have two stores that sell Maori artworks and other items of interest - He Tohu Aroha (a sign of love) and Tangata Whenua, both on the main street (Church Street).
Pop in with a kia ora or tena koe.
It would be great if we all made the effort to celebrate this official language of New Zealand all year round.
He reo e korerotia ana, he reo e ora ana - A spoken language is a living language.
We are lucky enough to have the occasional close encounters with wildlife here at Ohiwa. Birds and fish are common, with seals from time to time..
Yesterday, an uncommon fully grown Pygmy Sperm whale measuring around 2.5 meters was found washed up in Ohiwa Harbour. DOC have been unable to determine how it died but samples have been sent off for testing. After samples have been taken, it has been sent to Te Upokorehe hapu where oil, bone and teeth will be used for cultural purposes.
It would be great to see a live whale swimming in the harbour sometime. Who knows? Maybe one day...
Saturday 25th of August was a lovely Spring-like day. I joined a group of locals to help establish a local Food Forest, initiated by Meg Collins of Ohiwa Reserves Care Group. I was assigned the job of compost bin construction assistant. 18 trees were planted; Granny Smith apple, feijoa, Black Doris plum. lemon, orange, bananas, macadamia and peach. A good day was had by all. The area is now experiencing a lot of rain, so that should give the seedlings a good start.
Karen is a co-owner of Ohiwa Seascape Studios. When she is not busy at the studios, she is busy enjoying becoming a part of the local community here in the Eastern Bay of Plenty.