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2018 9 Sep Ētahi Karakia Baha’i (Book of Bahá'í Prayers) was launched at the Pūrekireki Marae in Pirongia to coincide with the beginning of Māori Language Week. For Dr. Tom Roa, professor of Maori and Indigenous Studies at the University of Waikato, it was the fourth significant translation of canonical Bahá'í texts he and his team have undertaken. This endeavour comes amid broader efforts to revive the Maori language. Dr. Roa, who has been at the forefront of these efforts, says that Maori speakers are a declining share of New Zealand’s population. Maori people make up only 15 percent of the population, and only a fifth of them can have a conversation in Maori, he notes.
Providing access to prayers in Maori was a key motivation for the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of New Zealand when it undertook the process in 2004. A small team of Bahá'ís worked with Dr. Roa, who has translated other spiritual texts into the Maori language, including the Bible and the Quran. The 14-year translation project began first with The Hidden Words, Bahá’u’lláh’s preeminent ethical work, and then Baha’u’llah and the New Era, an introduction to the Faith.
Bahá'í writings have been translated into some 800 languages to date. [BWNS1287; Raglan23 18SEP2018]
Pirongia; New Zealand Etahi Karakia Bahai; Maoris; Translation; Dr Tom Roa; Z****
 
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