It seems hard now to remember a time before the existence of Te Reo Hāpai, a glossary of te reo terms for the mental health, addiction, and disability sectors. That was a time when words in te reo for things like Alzheimers, diversity, stigma, ADHD, and Autism had not yet been created.
Te Reo Hāpai was created five years ago by Wise Group cultural lead Keri Opai while working for Te Pou, with the work funded by the Ministry of Health and the Māori Language Commission. Translated from Māori, Te Reo Hāpai means the ‘language of enrichment.
Writing the glossary involved over two years of consultation, including guidance and support from the Te Pou clinical advisory panel which included Dr Mason Durie.
Recently, Te Reo Hāpai online launched, making these terms and concepts based on Māori world views even more accessible to everyone throughout Aotearoa and around the world.
There are some new word additions, greater flexibility, and functionality and, best of all, there is the facility to hear how the words sound which will really help with pronunciation practice.
The amount of interest from overseas has been staggering. Clinicians, neuroscientists, whānau Māori and other indigenous peoples on all continents have downloaded copies and emailed Keri especially interested in the positive, strengths-based, mana-enhancing words on offer.
Keri says what pleases him most about Te Reo Hāpai is the words and concepts enable people to feel good about defining themselves.
“I am honoured and privileged that I could contribute to the well-being of many people through Te Reo Hāpai, as my kaumātua always would say: ‘He mana tō te kupu’ – ‘words have great power’ because they can be used to crush someone’s spirit or uplift their mana.Published on: 13 October 2020