Skip to page content
You are here: Home > Stories > Īnaka Kōrero: whitebait poetry by Teoti Jardine

Īnaka Kōrero

Poet Teoti Jardine (Waitaha, Kāti Mamoe, Kāi Tahu) writes from the perspective of īnaka (īnanga/whitebait) for tamariki who are learning about īnaka kaitiakitanga (guardianship).

Tamariki photographing īnanga eggs

Īnaka Kōrero

Mihi nui tamariki koutou.

Thank you very much for visiting me.
You probably couldn’t see me and my
brothers and sisters smiling.
Your visit made us feel so happy.

You have seen us in the Autumn
when our lives were just beginning,
and you knew when the next high tide
came, we would swim away.

Swim down the Ōtākaro awa,
through the Ihutai, to reach the moana.
There we would find the kai we need
to help us grow strong and healthy. 

When the Winter months have come
and gone the kai will have nourished us,
and made us strong enough to
follow our desire.

You have learned what our desire
is haven’t you? When Spring arrives
our desire is to return home, home to the
Ōtākaro awa and Lake Kate Sheppard. 

Mihi nui anō tamariki katoa.

Teoti Jardine, June 2018

Teoti Jardine giving a kōrero to the tamariki

Teoti Jardine (Waitaha, Kāti Mamoe, Kāi Tahuis a renowned poet, whose writing has been published in The Press, London Grip, Te Karaka, Te Panui Runaka, Ora Nui, JAAM, and Flash Frontier.  He also co-leads the Investigate: Īnanga project, which is supported by the Unlocking Curious Minds fund. [Photos: supplied]

Read the Investigate: Īnanga story.


Unlocking Curious Minds

Unlocking Curious Minds supports projects that excite and engage New Zealanders who have fewer opportunities to experience and connect with science and technology.

Find out more

View all stories