Look carefully at the following examples and you will see how i a ... and i te ... are used to say ‘while’. Notice how this structure uses e … ana, followed by ka ...
Here is the sentence pattern to help you:
I a/te/ngā + kaimahi + e + tūmahi + ana, + ka
|I a mātou e haere ana, ka kite mātou i te hukarere.||While we are travelling, we will see the snow.|
|I a ia e waiata ana, ka katakata ngā tamariki.||While he was singing, the children laughed.|
|I a Hine mā e wehe ana, ka tangi mātou.||While Hine and the others were departing we cried.|
|I te tumuaki e kōrero ana, ka moe a Pita.||While the principal was talking, Peter slept.|
|I ngā ākonga e mahi ana, ka inu kawhe rātou.||While the students were working, they drank coffee.|
Notice the similarity of this use of i te ... to its use for the past continuous tense that you have already encountered.
|I te pakipaki ngā tamariki, ka mutu ngā whakataetae kaukau.||While the children were applauding, the swimming races finished.|
|I te kura a Maru, ka whānau mai āna punua kurī.||While Maru was at school, his puppies were born.|
|I te whare karakia rātou, ka tangi te pere.||They were at church when the bell rang.|
For further explanations and examples see Te Kākano pp. 101-102.
Whakamāoritia ngā rerenga kōrero e whai ake nei.
Whakapākehātia ēnei rerenga kōrero.