I am Hana project

I am Hana project

We are excited to be sharing the media release for the I am Hana project.

The I am Hana project is an important event commemorating the 50th anniversary of the presentation of the Māori language petition to parliament, and will be held from 30 August to 15 September in New Plymouth.

Te reo and te ao Māori have been one of the reasons that initiated the creation of BiograView when discovering through my own children that in a multicultural, but especially, bicultural country, Māori language and history were not taught at schools as a matter of course, learning Aotearoa/New Zealand heritage as their basic foundation for learning and understanding the world and culture directly around them.

We have been so fortunate to have two Māori journalists on our team, one of them, Amokura Panoho, with maternal tribal links to Te Atiawa, Taranaki, Ngāruahine, who is directly related to Hana Te Hemara (Te Atiawa, Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāi Tahu) the woman who did such important work for all people living in New Zealand.

As a community we are so privileged to have such amazing souls amongst us; who are prepared to dedicate their lives to the all-important cause of bringing back a culture which has been suppressed for too long, in a peaceful way. We have begun our way to relearn our native language, and to embrace te reo in our daily lives.



 18 Here-turi-kōkā 2022 

Te Reo Māori e …. He Huringa Tau Motuhake 50! 

E te motu e! Whakanuia te huringa tau motuhake 50 o te reo Māori me te mana whakaaweawe o te rōpū, Ngā Tamatoa, tihei mouri ora. 

Te Kotahitanga o Te Atiawa, Ngāti Te Whiti and Puketapu hapū, the whānau of Hana Te Hemara, New Plymouth District Council and partners are proud to welcome Ngā Tamatoa and Te Reo Māori Society to Ngā Motu, to launch the I am Hana project and commemorate the 50th anniversary of the presentation of the Māori language petition to parliament. 

From 30 August – 15 September, a five-storey mural of Hana Te Hemara (Te Atiawa, Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāi Tahu), a founding member of Ngā Tamatoa, will be painted by renowned artist Mr G on the exterior of the Puke Ariki Library in New Plymouth’s CBD. 

The start of this large-scale mural opens a number of commemorative events in New Plymouth which ends with a community celebration at the mural site on King Street. 

Te Kotahitanga o Te Atiawa Chair Liana Poutu (Te Atiawa, Taranaki, Ngāti Maniapoto), is honoured Ngā Tamatoa chose Ngā Motu to commemorate this important milestone. 

“Hana Te Hemara epitomised what it is to be a strong and tenacious woman. Her courage, along with so many from Ngā Tamatoa during the 1970s, paved the way for the thriving kura kaupapa, kōhanga reo and te reo Māori movement we have today,” says Liana. 

“We are unashamedly proud of Aunty Hana as a leader, a mother, a fashionista and a proud Puketapu wāhine. E kaha tautoko ana mātou I tēnei kaupapa mīharo, ka tika!” 

Co-chair of New Plymouth District Council’s Te Huinga Taumata, Howie Tamati (Te Atiawa, Ngāti Mutunga, Ngāi Tahu), reflects on how Ngā Tamatoa and their legacy has shaped the resurgence of te reo Māori in Aotearoa. 

“I am proud that my moko live in a time when they hear te reo Māori as part of their everyday lives, on the news, on social media. It is a testament to the mahi of Ngā Tamatoa and Hana Te Hemara. The I am Hana project is a wonderful way to honour her and the group’s commitment to the survival of our language,” says Howie. “It’s an honour to be part of bringing Hana’s story to life in this way for Taranaki residents and I am sure the mural on the Puke Ariki Library building is going to look stunning, be a real drawcard and an immense source of pride for her iwi, hapū and whānau.” 

I am Hana is proudly partnered by Te Kotahitanga o Te Atiawa, Ngāti Te Whiti, Puketapu, New Plymouth District Council, Creative New Zealand, Te Taura Whiri, Te Puni Kōkiri, Tui Ora, Venture Taranaki, Te Mātāwai, Toi Foundation, Spark and Nikau Construction. 

Other targeted events have been planned for students, artists and an I am Hana commemoration dinner. 

Learn more about Hana Te Hemara, Ngā Tamatoa and see all I am Hana event information here: IamHana.nz. 

Nationwide 50th Anniversary commemoration and te reo Māori kaupapa events
Nationwide Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori events 

Media contact:
Tui MacDonald
Te Kotahitanga o Te Atiawa
027 252 7017, comms@teatiawa.iwi.nz


Public events running from Tuesday 30 August – Thursday 15 September include: 

30 August – 15 September
Weekdays 9.00am – 4.00pm
Behind Puke Ariki Library,
King Street, New Plymouth 
Watch renowned artist Mr G complete a five-storey mural of wāhine Māori leader Hana Te Hemara. 
1 – 15 September
Puke Ariki Library 
Enjoy listening to audio recordings of Hana Te Hemara on the Puke Ariki Listening Posts 
8 – 14 September
Open daily except Sunday
9.00am – 12.00pm
2.00pm – 4.00pm
TSB Showplace, Alexandra Room 
View an exhibition by acclaimed photographer John Miller showcasing the life and times of Ngā Tamatoa from the early 1970s. Also enjoy a display of memorabilia from Ngā Tamatoa members and the whānau of Hana Te Hemara. 
12 – 15 September
Puke Ariki Library 
Hana Te Hemara was a strong advocate for women’s health. She passed away from cervical cancer at the early age of 59. The team at Tui Ora are available to speak with anyone interested in learning more about Smear Your Mea – a kaupapa Māori-led cervical screening campaign. 
Wednesday 14 September
6.30pm – 8.30pm
TSB Showplace, Alexandra Room 
Join Ngā Tamatoa members as they share their challenges and triumphs during the 1970s as they promoted indigenous rights and the resistance to racial discrimination and injustices. This panel discussion will be facilitated by journalist Oriini Kaipara. 

Seats are limited. Register your place at IamHana.nz. 

Thursday 15 September
3.30pm – 7.30pm
Mural site behind Puke Ariki Library, King Street, New Plymouth 
To celebrate I am Hana events and the completion of Mr G’s mural of Hana Te Hemara, join us on King Street for entertainment, food trucks and to meet some of the Ngā Tamatoa members. 
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