Board welcomes increase in visible te reo Māori

19 September 2017

The Independent Māori Statutory Board welcomes a raft of new Auckland Council initiatives that will increase visibility of te reo Māori.

“After a stand-out Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori, we’re really pleased to see a push to introduce some excellent new tools that will help Aucklanders to speak, see and hear more te reo,” says Independent Māori Statutory Board chair David Taipari.

Last week, the council announced a switch to bilingual signage, coming soon to Auckland’s many council facilities and parks. The council has said it will incorporate te reo as signs are replaced, from November. Changes will occur over time, at minimal cost to Aucklanders.

Another recent project saw the addition of spoken te reo in the lifts of Auckland Council’s Albert Street building.

The council also launched a new app last month, known as Kete Kōrero. Originally developed for staff, the public can also download it (from iTunes) to improve pronunciation, use more reo more often, or be ready to sing waiata as called upon. It’s also useful tool for building rapport with mana whenua.

“Maori in Tāmaki Makaurau told the Board they wanted compulsory te reo to be included in the Maori Plan, which the Board produced in 2012. We are very pleased to see that policy converting into action.

“We also want to keep the momentum going, and we see some incredible opportunities to move us forward as a bilingual city. Announcements in te reo throughout buses, trains and ferries, Māori names for stations and new roads and bilingual wayfinding — these are not distant dreams, or at least do not need to be. As our city grows and builds, we want visible te reo to ride that wave of change too.”