Up to forty (40) te reo Māori audio phrases and words can now be downloaded to mobile phones.
Associate Minister of Māori Affairs Georgina te Heuheu this morning launched Maori Television’s Māori language application for mobile phones. m.Māori is a Māori Language Week initiative embracing new technologies to disseminate and promote te reo Maori to as wide an audience as possible.
Recent research shows that television is used by a significant number of people wanting to access Māori language and cultural content.
However, the study commissioned by Te Puni Kokiri and the Ministry for Culture and Heritage also concludes that newer and emerging technologies, particularly cell phones and computers with internet access, are used by a large proportion of people and on a regular basis.
“Maori language and culture content must be readily accessible through a range of modern media and targeted at key demographic groups important for achieving language revitalisation,” Mrs te Heuheu says.
“Young people especially are extensive users of devices such as mobile phones.”
The launch of m.Māori highlights the role of broadcasters in ensuring te reo Maori content is linked to other language applications and services and Mrs te Heuheu congratulated Māori Television on seizing the initiative.
“m.Māori encourages all New Zealanders to learn and use the language. It does so in a fun way and is a practical example of this year’s Māori Language Week theme of Māori language in the community,” she said.
“This is targeted at young people, rangatahi in particular, but I like to think it is also targeted at people like me who think young.”