For Te Wiki o te Reo Māori – Māori Language Week, we wanted to share our learnings around the name on our logo ‘Te Rau Aroha’. Te Rau Aroha has layers of meaning. It can mean ‘leaves of love’ with volunteering being the gift of giving that keeps the plant growing and thriving. It is also a term of respect given to those whose actions embody courage/service to their community.
Then there are more meanings when you explore the context and stories behind the word. Te Rau Aroha was the name of the mobile canteen truck that supported the Māori Battalion overseas in World War II. The Truck followed the soldiers overseas and provided the comforts and supports from home. The National Army Museum noted that the Māori community raised 1000 pounds to fund the Truck. The schools grew vegetables for sale and ran concerts and stalls; children also dug into their moneyboxes. On the side of the truck is written:
‘He tohu aroha na nga tamariki o nga Kura Maori o Niu Tireni ki te Ope Whawhai o te Iwi Māori e tau mai ra i te Pae o te Pakanga i te Mura o te Ahi’
‘Presented to the Māori Battalion as a token of love from the children of the native schools of New Zealand’.
Learning about ‘Te Rau Aroha’ we understand more why this name was gifted to us, the meanings link so well with our vision: to have a vibrant connected community supported by the mahi aroha of our volunteer community.