Te Wiki O Te Reo Māori - Māori Language Week 2016

It is Māori language week in Aotearoa (New Zealand) from the 4th – 10th July 2016.

With this in mind I thought I would introduce you to some of the common Māori words you would hear around our booking office and out at sea when visiting Whale Watch Kaikōura.

First off our vessels all have Māori names, and along with these names they have beautiful Māori designs along the side of them to signify the meaning.

Wāwāhia – Tipuna (named after the Grandfather of one of the founders of the company)

Tohorā  – Ancestral whale

Paikea – Whale Rider

Aoraki – Ancestral God

                                                             

Some common words you might hear from the staff at our booking office or our guides out at sea could include:

Kia Ora – be well/healthy but informally used as a greeting - hello

Manuhiri - Visitor

Nau Mai Haere Mai – Warm greeting to you all

Haere Ra – Farewell (to those leaving)

Waka - Boat

Aihe - Dolphin

Kekeno – Fur Seal

Manaakitanga respect for hosts or kindness to guests, to entertain, to look after

Mōrena (Good) morning!

Te Waipounamu – South Island

Moana – sea

Kai – food. E kai – command to eat

Pahi – bus

 

We currently have four semi-resident sperm whales feeding in the Kaikōura canyon that we have given names to. These sperm whales having different markings, scars, shaped dorsal fins and tails, we have been seeing these three whales for some time now off our coastline and have become good friends of ours.

Tiaki – Guardian. He is one of our most dominant sperm whales who seems to look out for the younger sperm whales that visit Kaikōura.

Tutu – Shortened version of the Māori word Tutumairekurai which means Special Ocean Dweller. Tutu has a dorsal fin that is shaped much the same as a Hectors Dolphin which has been given this Maori name.

Manu – Birdie. The silhouette of Manu’s tail when diving down looks much like that of a bird in flight (if you use your imagination).

Aotearoa – Named due to the white scarring under the top end of his dorsal fin which kind of looks like the outline of the North Island.

 

And of course there is Kaikōura – The meaning of the name Kaikoura is 'meal of crayfish'. This name was given by Tamaki-te-rangi after he stopped over to eat here while chasing his runaway wives….

Maori names for marine life

Autumn is such a beautiful time of the year with not just the stunning colours that come with this season but also the calm days we can get out at sea along with fantastic sightings. We were able to see sperm whales, pilot whales, a humpback whale and various species of dolphins as well as NZ fur seals and marine birds out on our tours last week.

Progress is being made on the repair of the Kaikōura Marina and we continue to switch between using a berth and our modified trailer unit for launching our vessel Tohorā, when and where possible we are also making use of the public jetty that we have modified, this is due to tidal restrictions and repair work as a result of the coastline lifting by +1.0m. It is anticipated that the Kaikōura Marina will be fully operational by the middle of this year.

Dredging of the Coastguard channel has begun with specialised equipment that arrived in Kaikōura over the weekend.

Currently our available tour times are based around the tide times on the day and may differ from the tour times originally advertised, please bear with us as we continue to work toward being fully operational again. For an update on the tour times available please contact our Customer Service team directly either by email on res@whalewatch.co.nz or phone +64 3 319 6767 or free phone 0800 655 121 (within NZ) and they will be able to help you with your inquiry.  Please note we are operating at a reduced capacity in the interim with up to 3 tours available per day, please contact our team prior to arriving in Kaikōura to secure a space on one of our tours and to save disappointment.

Kaikōura Business Update:

Kaikōura is open for business. For latest updates on accommodation / restaurant and retail information please contact the team at the Kaikōura i-Site who will be able to help you find what suits your needs during your stay in Kaikōura.

Transport Update:

All subject to weather conditions, slips, repair work and seismic activity. Updates available from the NZTA WEBSITE.

Intercity & Hasslefree Tours have daily services from Christchurch to Kaikōura with a return service from Christchurch, as well as Kiwi Experience now having the option of a day tour out of Christchurch for their travellers.

Progress on the work being done on roads (along with harbour repairs) can be found on this dedicated KAIKOURA EARTHQUAKE RESPONSE page provided by the team at NZTA, this page is updated weekly on Friday. Work is also starting to take place on the railway network, please be aware and take care when using rail crossings.

Please consider taking the time to visit Kaikōura, your support is most welcome.

The team at Whale Watch Kaikoura.