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A new children's Bible is aimed at helping tens of thousands of indigenous youngsters in New Zealand read God's Word in their native language.
Taku Paipera is the first children's Bible in the Maori language, and intends to use colourful pages and short sentences to offer a more accessible alternative to adult versions.
An elder on Laidlaw College's Maori Advisory Council in Auckland, Matt Hakiaha, said: "I've personally wanted this for 30 years, because growing up as a child in a Christian home, there was only an adult Bible.
"For Maori children, it's their language put to print, the stories of the Bible from thousands of years are now conveyed in their sacred language. It will help build their self-esteem and pride.
"This Bible will lead to the preservation of te Reo [the Maori language] and the continuity of te Reo and also the use and continuance of a traditional language to a modern language."
Produced by the New Zealand Bible Society, Taku Paipera received a traditional Maori welcoming ceremony at Middle School West Auckland's Bilingual Unit where the feeding of the 5,000 was read out to students.
Alex Hawea, the community and family support manager at the school, said: "Taku Paipera is brilliant. It will be a lot easier to read these Bible stories to my kids without having to translate them back into Maori."
There are thought to be 600,000 Maori in New Zealand.
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