'Their culture, their identity' - South Island preschoolers develop app to help other kids learn Samoan language

A group of South Island preschoolers have been a part of the creation of a new app to help other children learn the Samoan language.

The app, called 'Tatou o ile Maketi', or 'Let's go to the Market', wasn't designed by a web developer.

The idea, look and sound came from the children at Tino E Tasi Preschool in Corstorphine, Dunedin, along with its sister school in Christchurch.

"Well, Samoan language is their culture, their identity, so it's about trying to create a piece of technology that really engages with them and reflects who they are," Tino E Tasi Preschool’s Zohar Marshall said.

The app works by first giving you a shopping list and food items for you to drag into the basket.

When the correct item is picked, you can hear what the item is called in Samoan.

Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio, praised the idea when he visited the young innovators to see their work first-hand.

"These children are learning in both languages the word for potato, putetu; coma, cucumber; sosesi, sausage. I mean, that's exciting," Mr Sio said.

After months of planning, the children's ideas were developed in Auckland with funding from the Ministry for Pacific Peoples.

"We're not trying to programme kids to be workers. We want these kids to be free thinkers so that they can become creators, innovators, explorers and navigators," Tino E Tasi centre manager Karen McCauley said.

"I've learned an awful lot that I didn't know before. I started about the different types of products you can get form the market and what they mean in Samoan, so I've learned."

The app is available to download free of charge.

Students at Tino e Tasi Preschool came up with the idea, look and sound for the new app. Source: 1 NEWS

'I call it recycling' - unusual partnership develops between Sikh community and retired Cook Islands women over sacred cloth

The Sikh temple in South Auckland is packed with worshippers coming to reflect, hear religious verses and to give their thanks every weekend.

"When the peoples are blessed with any happiness, they are coming in to offer the ramala sahib," the Supreme Sikh Society's Daljit Singh said.

Rumala sahib are beautiful fabrics, of which hundreds are offered up as altar cloths every month.

The cloths, used in religious ceremonies ranging from "a few minutes" up to several hours, are then packed away to be disposed of through burning.

The Takanini temple alone was burning around one tonne a year, releasing more than 3.6 tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

However, a world-first partnership has been developed between the Sikh community and retired Cook Islands women.

"What we are trying to do is give it a new life, save it from burning it. I call it recycling," said Ms Teariki, of the Cook Islands Ta'okotai'anga Vainetini community group.

The Cook Islanders are thrilled to be among community groups receiving the donated fabric, although it took a while getting used to at the beginning.

"They are looking at this beautiful material that you probably wear as a ball gown and, because of the sacred nature of where it came from, cutting it seemed not a nice thing to do," the Cook Islands Development Agency New Zealand's Rouruina Emil'e-Brown said.

The Cook Island Mamas, respected elderly women, have recycled the fabric to create traditional quilting, known as tivaivai, pillowcases and bags.

Now, the Cook Islands group is organising an exhibition for October showcasing Cook Islands creative arts and incorporating material donated from the Sikh community.

The two groups have learned a lot about each other from their world-first partnership.

"We are on a journey of discovery, too. The pieces of material that are being incorporated into a very old craft its telling a new story," Ms Emil'e-Brown said.

"It's an unusual partnership but, you know what? God said whatever the colour is and the blood is, we are as one," Ms Teariki said.

Huge numbers of Ramala Sahib – beautiful fabrics – are disposed of after religious ceremonies, but now they’re being put to good use. Source: 1 NEWS


One dead, another injured after ute crash on North Otago farm

One man has died at the scene and another has been hospitalised after a fatal car crash on a North Otago farm.

Police were called to Stoneburn Road, in Waitaki, at 4.22pm today.

A 50-year-old man was killed after a ute crashed on a farm in the Dunback area.

Another person in the vehicle, a 21-year-old man, was airlifted to Dunedin Hospital.

The Serious Crash Unit and WorkSafe have been notified of the incident.

Police emergency scene
Police emergency scene Source: 1 NEWS