A new glossary of Maori words and phrases is expected to become a valuable resource for the Catholic Church in Aotearoa New Zealand.
The dictionary is by newly ordained deacon Danny Karatea-Goddard, of Ngati Maniapoto, Te Rarawa, Ngapuhi and Ngati Whatua descent and is a response to the Church’s’ commitment to
inculturation and biculturalism.

Deacon Karatea-Goddard beside Tanenui-a-rangi, the carving that supports the call of welcome inside the entrance of the Palmerston North Diocesan Centre.

Mr Karatea-Goddard said he is working towards releasing the book at Easter next year.
“I’m part of the national translation team established by the National Liturgy Office five years ago to translate the new translation of the English Mass into te reo Maori,” he said.
“Latin is closer to Maori than English. We want a true and faithful translation of the Latin Mass in te reo Maori.”
The long process of translation calls for what is expressed in one language, in this case Latin, to be placed into Maori culture without losing its original meaning.
The presider then has the job to “lift” the words from the page so they can be understood in the language of the people, recognising who they are and where they come from.
“Sometimes there isn’t a Maori word, and a word or group of words needs to be constructed,” Mr Karatea- Goddard said.
Many words used in our liturgies are unique to the Catholic Church in Aotearoa-New Zealand.
They are Catholic words.
Their origin is in Latin, not English.
Catholics and Catholic communities, especially schools, are growing in cultural awareness and turn to Deacon Karatea-Goddard for help to insert a Maori phrase when preparing a
liturgy or speech, he said.
“I’m often asked what is the te reo for blessing, or a saint’s name. This book
will help them.”
A local parishioner and artist brought to Mr Karatea-Goddard a sketch of his entry piece for the forthcoming Palmerston North Lions Bra & Artz fundraiser exhibition for Breast Cancer.
Titled “Spiritual Bra”, he was wanting to make sure of the Maori word for prayer in this context, inoi, and love is aroha.
Deacon Karatea-Goddard is also Bishop Charles Drennan’s assistant with responsibility for Maori
pastoral care.