A kaitiaki of te reo Māori is encouraging rangatahi to read the diary of Anne Frank, saying it provides a lesson for people to address racial discrimination.

Te Haumihiata Mason (Ngāi Tūhoe, Ngāti Pango, Te Arawa) translated The Diary of a Young Girl into te reo Māori earlier this year but is spending Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori in Rotorua promoting it.

The journal, Te Rātaka a Tētahi Kōhine, a translation of Anne Frank – The Diary of a Young Girl, chronicles the innermost thoughts of teenage girl, Anne, and her family who were hidden by their non-Jewish friends in a secret annexe in Amsterdam during World War II.

Mason said humans needed to learn from past lessons and overcome hatred which was still alive today.

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"In my heart, I'd really like Māori children and youth to read this book and understand what happens in war. The strife between the Germans and Jews was brought on by hatred. That's such a terrible thing.

"Anne Frank's harrowing account of World War II is confronting, open and honest. I hope it takes young people on a journey to her time and opens their hearts and minds to the horrors created by racism and hatred. And encourages them not to tolerate it in any form."

Te Haumihiata Mason, of Rotorua, was tasked with translating Anne Frank's Diary into te reo Māori. Photo / Supplied
Te Haumihiata Mason, of Rotorua, was tasked with translating Anne Frank's Diary into te reo Māori. Photo / Supplied

As part of the Aronui Indigenous Arts Festival, Mason will be at McLeods Booksellers on Thursday from 5.30pm to kōrero about her translation.

McLeods Booksellers manager Jemma Morrison said McLeods was honoured to host the event, which had been called Kupu Māreikura.

She said it built momentum to develop a Māori writers festival.

"Kupu Māreikura is a wonderful opportunity for us to continue in this vein and be a part of this exciting new festival. We feel privileged to host the very talented Te Haumihiata Mason here."

To complement the event, Anne Frank New Zealand chairman Boyd Klap wanted to relaunch the book in Rotorua in honour of Mason and her contribution to te reo Māori.

In 2017, Klap, the Dutchman-turned-Kiwi, who moved to New Zealand in the 1950s, was visiting Parihaka to speak about bullying and discrimination, as part of an exhibition touring the country on Frank's diary.

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A woman in the audience, Ngapera Moeahu-Teitinga, posed the question: "Is Anne Frank's Diary of a Young Girl available in te reo Maori?"

It was not, and it set Klap on a journey to obtain the rights, find a publisher, and the funds to translate and print the world-famous diary.

The Te Arawa launch organiser Mercia Dawn-Yates said there would be readings of the book in te reo Māori, Dutch and English, and race relations commissioner Meng Foon would be in attendance.

Te Arawa Launch - Te Rātaka a Tētahi Kōhine

Venue:

Te Puia - Te Whakaruruhau

Date:

September 11

Time:

5.30 to 6.30pm

Te Aranui Indigenous Arts Festival - Kupu Māreikura

Venue:

McLeods Bookshop

Date:

September 12

Time:

From 5.30pm

Tickets:

$10, through TicketMaster