Ngāpuhi initiaive aims to put new life into tribe’s endangered dialect

An initiative has been set up in Tamaki Makaurau to help Ngāpuhi descendants learn their endangered dialect.

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A group from the country's largest tribe wants to increase the number of fluent Ngāpuhi speakers, with a dwindling number of orators able to speak on the marae. Source: 1 NEWS

A small group from the country’s largest tribe is trying to increase the numbers of fluent Ngāpuhi speakers as the numbers of orators able to speak on marae in the region has declined.

A wananga is held at a marae in Epsom every Sunday to teach the northern iwi’s traditional knowledge to those who live far from home.

“In the past we had plenty of orators and singers, we were spoilt, but these days they're sparse on the ground, so this initiative is to address those shortages on the marae,” Ngapuhi member Pierre Lyndon told 1 NEWS.

This initiative is about identity and what makes a Ngāpuhi, Ngāpuhi with knowledge of whakapapa crucial to that idea.

“Ngāpuhi orators are famous for their boldness, famous for their sound and famous for being hardcase,” Mr Lyndon said.

The wananga includes classroom work with haka and waiata. Online learning support is also available.