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Ko Wai Ahau? Try our pepeha interactive tool

NZ Herald

Ko Wai Ahau is's pepeha generator that we have launched during Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori - Māori Language Week.

A pepeha is a way of introducing yourself in Māori. It tells people who you are by sharing your connections with the people and places that are important to you.

Using a set structure it identifies who you are, where you're from and where you belong.

For Māori, pepeha points to whakapapa (ancestry). Whakapapa speaks to relationships and links with the land, the sea, the environment, our world and the universe.

The idea of pepeha is universal. Everyone has a pepeha that links them to their ancestors.

Ko Wai Ahau (Who am I) uses a very simple pepeha structure that identifies a mountain and body of water -- river, lake, ocean -- that is special to you or that you have lived by, a canoe or ship your ancestors may have arrived to Aotearoa on, the place you are from or reside at now, and your name.

This interactive graphic has been created by data journalist Chris McDowall and designed by Paul Slater.