Hawke's Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management Group is celebrating Cook Islands Language Week 2022 with the release of five new translations of an educational resource.
Te Hīkoi a Rūaumoko – Rūaumoko's Walk is a bilingual picture book created in 2014 by a Hawke's Bay rōpū and based on Ngāti Kahungunu legends and language.
The story, written in te reo Māori and English, tells children what to do to keep safe in an earthquake and a later tsunami threat.
The printed book won an excellence award from Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori (Māori Language Commission) and was further developed into a digital pukapuka (book) in 2018.
HBCDEM successfully applied for $50,000 of funding from the National Emergency Management Agency earlier this year and put the money towards translating the story.
With the help of Hawke's Bay community members, they translated it into five additional languages - Samoan, Tongan, Cook Island, Hindi and Chinese.
Translators Kimi Joel and Mii Tamatoa worked together on the Cook Islands Māori text, which was edited by Berry Rangi.
Rangi said she was proud of the translation and it was a team effort.
"To have this resource, in our own language, is going to be a real asset for our Cook Islands communities and families. It's also wonderful that we were able to launch this during Cook Islands Language Week," Rangi said.
Tamatoa said the collaborative effort helped them achieve all the work they did.
"Teamwork I find is the best way to move forward because we have all come together with one mind, to get something significant like this done in our own reo, so I am very pleased with what we have achieved, this is the end product of that."
Joel said giving the books to children was a good way to spread the knowledge and the translations made it accessible.
"The younger ones will learn about it and take it home," Joel said.
Pacific Health manager Talalelei Talufale was closely involved with the development process and said it the new translations would be just the beginning.
"This is about keeping our families safe and making sure all our cultures are represented," Talufale said.
HBCDEM community engagement team leader Jae Whelan says translating the book from a mātauranga Māori perspective into other language versions enables the wider community to understand the key messages and develop their resilience to earthquake and tsunami risk.
"Since Rūaumoko's Walk was first developed, it has been widely distributed to schools, libraries and families throughout Aotearoa New Zealand," Whelan said.
"There are many Pacific and ethnic communities around New Zealand living and working in tsunami zones, and ensuring they understand and have a plan to respond to this hazard could be life saving for them and enable a better outcome for everyone."
Project manager and graphic designer Kristi Drain of Flip Design has been involved with Rūaumoko's Walk from its inception and said it's been the culmination of a diverse, collaborative effort.
"This has been an awesome project and it's been so interesting to see how this resource has evolved and developed throughout the years." he said.
HBCDEM will be working with Pacific and ethnic communities in Hawke's Bay and Civil Defence groups around the country to coordinate distribution of the new translated versions.
All versions of Te Hīkoi a Rūaumoko – Rūaumoko's Walk can be viewed and downloaded online at: https://www.hbemergency.govt.nz/get-ready/get-education-ready/