Skip Content
A Te Wānanga o Aotearoa librarian is taking Te Matatini Ki Te Ao (Te Matatini to the world) quite literally, and translating the final day of the kapa haka champs into Mandarin – the language spoken by about 1.2 billion people. 

Lidu Gong, who speaks fluent Mandarin, English and te reo Māori, will be providing the translations for Māori TV and says while he’s performed kapa haka before, it’s still a daunting thing to tackle. 

“To me it’s quite a challenge because I haven’t done this work before and I might not be good enough, but I’m looking forward to it and I’ll do my best,” he says. 

On Sunday, Lidu will join the Haka Translate team, who are providing translation services for people watching or listening to the kapa haka performances at Te Matatini via the official Te Matatini app. 

Lidu has been learning te reo Māori for about eight years and has immersed himself in Te Ao Māori. 

He says that journey has also reconnected him with his Chinese culture and his translations will be beneficial to people of both cultures. 

“I see the value of it because in learning te reo and learning Māori culture, I ‘rediscovered’ my own native culture, Chinese traditional culture. There are striking similarities between the two cultures and I want to convey the basic human values and the core of the culture to my iwi.” 

He expects there to be plenty of interest from the Chinese community in the coverage. 

He has been teaching te reo Māori to the Chinese community in Auckland and says they have a hunger to learn more. 

“I have been teaching a Mandarin class te reo Māori and many of them are keen and they are interested in learning te reo and Māori culture. It’s going to be a great experience for me and for the Chinese community.” 

Te Matatini Ki Te Ao is in Wellington and runs until Sunday, with Lidu providing Mandarin translation during the finals on Sunday. 
 Back to news & events

Published On:

Article By:



Other Articles

  • 24 January 2023

    From Kenya to Aotearoa - Toi and its many connection's

    Jennifer Dickerson, a self-proclaimed "Third Culture Kid" due to her unique upbringing around the world, has discovered who she is through art.

  • 19 December 2022

    Masters opens door to book project

    Juggling work as Communications Advisor for Te Wānanga o Aotearoa while completing his masters, and writing a book has meant Tracey Cooper’s plate has been rather full recently. Fortunately with his exegesis completed, book published and work in wind-down mode for Christmas he’s able to take a breather and reflect on his journey through study.

  • 15 December 2022

    ‘Rererangi ki te Ao’ Opens doors at Kirikiriroa Airport

    Te Wānanga o Aotearoa Kairuruku and Pouwhenua Whakairo (master carver), Professor Kereti G. Rautangata, (nō Ngāti Mahanga, Ngāti Koroki Kahukura) and his team of carvers have left their mark on a significant piece of the Waikato landscape.

  • 14 December 2022

    Making a difference with mau rākau

    Tamiaho Searancke, who started learning the art of mau rākau at age three from his kuia and kaumatua, has guided another cohort of tauira through their journey of learning the ancient Māori martial art.