Family History Month | He Marama Hītori ā Whānau 2024

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Family History Month | He Marama Hītori ā Whānau 2024

Family History Month is observed annually during the month of August across New Zealand and Australia. This gives us the opportunity to showcase the library's extensive genealogy resources as well as create some special promotions.
We have a very special event this year which is a talk by Rotorua woman, Ngāhuia te Awekōtuku about her recently published book, Hine Toa: A story of bravery. Read more about this below.

There will be more opportunities to get assistance with your family history research on a personal level as the NZ Society of Genealogists offer their services weekly (Genealogy Drop-in) during August and similarily, Whakapapa Drop-In will also be held every week as well.

The pre-school sessions, He Aka Pikirangi and He Pī Ka Rere will also be whānau and family themed for the month of August. Crafts and activities to help young children engage with your family's history will also be available as a Busy Bag, collectable from the Children's area in August.
Visitors to the 2nd floor can also enjoy the wonderful stories about members of Te Ropu o te Ora - Māori Women's Health League. The league’s focus was the health of Māori women and children, and it worked through marae-based women’s committees. By the late 1940s it had spread beyond the central North Island, and its work on housing, marae support, ambulance staffing, alcohol use was having a positive effect on Māori health. We feel privileged for being given the opportunity to display these banners again during He Marama Hītori ā Whānau 2024.

Events for Family History Month 2024

Ngāhuia te Awekōtuku. Photo courtesy of Tracey Scott, E-Tangata

Rotorua Library, Te Aka Mauri in association with Harper Collins Publishers and City Books and Lotto is proud to present:

A Book Talk with Ngāhuia te Awekōtuku, Hine Toa: A story of bravery.

Saturday 3rd August
Doors open 10am. Event starts 10.30am
Community Pride Space, Ground Floor


Books will be available for purchase at the event.

Members of the New Zealand Society of Genealogists will also be available at the conclusion of the event to provide free assistance to anyone researching their own family's history.

Hine Toa: A story of bravery by Ngāhuia te Awekōtuku

Media Release from HarperCollins Aotearoa New Zealand

"An incredible memoir by a trailblazing voice in women's, queer and Māori liberation movements"

'Remarkable. At once heartbreaking and triumphant' Patricia Grace

In the 1950s, a young Ngāhuia is fostered by a family who believe in hard work and community. Although close to her kuia, she craves more: she wants higher education and refined living. But whānau dismiss her dreams. To them, she is just a show-off, always getting into trouble, talking back and running away.

In this fiery memoir about identity and belonging, Ngāhuia te Awekōtuku describes what was possible for a restless working-class girl from the pā. After moving to Auckland for university, Ngāhuia advocates resistance as a founding member of Ngā Tamatoa and the Women's and Gay Liberation movements, becoming a critical voice in protests from Waitangi to the streets of Wellington.

Roaming between the beauty and violence of the 1950s, 60s and 70s, the personal and the political, this is a coming of age memoir about a resilient, raging young girl who grew up with the odds stacked against her but who had the strength and courage to carve a path of her own.

Although a scholarly writer, completing her memoir was something Ngāhuia never thought she would do.

I recorded many of my teenage adventures as short fiction and, although oblique, and I felt that was enough. Pieces of my life story, safely disguised despite some readers recognising me as the main character. Others around me, including close kin, suggested that writing my growing-up may help and inspire other young Māori, Pasifika and Indigenous girls dealing with similar issues. Believe that you can do anything! Never give up! Seize the time, take that risk! Hit back! The hope was that this book may also help others outside our world to understand us, get to know us better, as Māori, as queer, as native women, as survivors and fighters. So I decided to have a go, and here it is.’

'Extraordinary, vivid, riveting. I learned, I laughed and I wept over this book' Fiona Kidman

'Beautifully written and fiercely honest' Deborah Challinor

'Brilliant. This timely coming-of-age memoir by an iconic activist will rouse the rebel in us all. I loved it' Tina Makereti

- HarperCollins Aotearoa New Zealand Publishers

Genealogy Drop-In

Volunteers from Rotorua Branch of the New Zealand Society of Genealogists offer a free drop-in service to assist people in researching their family history.

Every Wednesday during August, 10am-12pm.

Genealogy Area, Second Floor, Rotorua Library, Te Aka Mauri

Whakapapa Drop-In

The goal of these sessions is to raise awareness for those who are seeking whakapapa and would like to know what research resources are available either online or in our Don Stafford Room.

Every Wednesday during August, 1pm-3pm.

Genealogy Area, Second Floor, Rotorua Library, Te Aka Mauri.

He Aka Pikirangi

This whānau/family-themed session of our reo Māori pre-school programme includes story time, music and craft.

Monday 5 August, 10.30am-11.30am

Children’s Area, Ground Floor, Rotorua Library, Te Aka Mauri

He Pī Ka Rere

A fun whānau/family-themed session of our programme for pre-schoolers, which includes story time, instruments and craft.

Tuesday 6 & Thursday 8 August, 10.30am-11.30am

Children’s Area, Ground Floor, Rotorua Library, Te Aka Mauri

Busy Bag

Collect a busy bag to help engage young family members with your family’s history and stories.

Available from Children’s Area, Ground Floor, Rotorua Library Te Aka Mauri

The Women’s Health League Display

Many people will recognise one or two (or more) of these remarkable, local women who joined forces for the betterment of women and children in our community. Come and see this display on the 2nd Floor of Te Aka Mauri from Friday 26 July to Monday 12 August.