Māori technology innovator Kiwa Digital is throwing its digital weight into controversy about the use of te reo Māori by non-Māori.
“Te reo Māori is a taonga, a treasure, but will only thrive if it is shared,” said Kiwa Digital CEO Steven Renata. “E ora ai te reo – whiua ki te ao! For the language to survive – share it with the world.”
As a Māori owned technology company, Kiwa is well-placed to help with this drive. For Te Wiki o te reo Māori, it is helping launch a number of initiatives designed around the principle “it’s cool to kōrero”.
The Pepeha App for Te Māngai Pāho. The app is a tool to help learners of te reo Māori prepare a pepeha. A pepeha is a statement of identity. It’s a tribal saying and how Māori introduce themselves on the marae or in a Māori setting, yet it’s a formula that can be used by all people . The app helps you construct your pepeha, assists you with pronunciation, and allows you to record and publish when you’re confident to share.
The Pepeha App is a part of #1Miriona, Te Māngai Pāho’s social media campaign to engage a million supporters of the Māori language with te reo Māori content that people like, create and share online.
We Bare Bears in te Reo Māori. Cartoon Network’s beloved animated sitcom We Bare Bears has screened everywhere from Pakistan to the Philippines. This year, Sky teamed up with producer Turner Broadcasting to have the bears speak te reo Māori for the first time – with Temuera Morrison providing the voice of lead character Grizzly. Kiwa Digital managed the dubbing of all episodes, using its innovative patented post-production software VoiceQ, with the support of local companies Native Audio and Māori and Pasifika Support Services.
From the reaction of the young Māori voice talent – tumeke “too much!” – it’s clear having their favourite shows in their native language is positive and affirming.
Puna Ako for The Treasury. Puna Ako is the latest in a series of Cultural Intelligence (or CQ) apps designed to introduce te reo Māori and tikanga Māori to workforces in a fun, positive and helpful way. The app will help Treasury staff with their day-to-day mahi and their engagement with the Iwi and Māori organisations.
“Treasury staff wanted something that could develop their skills in te reo Māori, tikanga (protocols), and Māori engagement – and the Puna Ako app delivers to that! Puna Ako is a wellspring of learning, that aims to make Treasury staff more confident and competent engaging in te ao Māori.” Tu Sciasica – Māori Capability Advisor, The Treasury said today.
The Kiwa team is excited about the direction these CQ apps are heading. Increasingly organisations are integrating the apps into their company-wide strategies, dialing up the cool factor by including their own imagery, waiata, haka, and even puzzles for whānau, to support engagement and learning.
CEO Steven Renata says the company has further initiatives to be launched this week,
“As Te Wiki o te reo Māori rolls out we will be supporting the launch of more CQ apps for local authorities and New Zealand’s first secondary school.
Then on Friday at the Hikoia Te Kōrero Celebratory Parade in Manukau we will announce new international projects that demonstrate we are indeed “sharing with the world”. “
ABOUT KIWA DIGITAL LTD
Kiwa is a technology innovator based in Auckland specialising in language revitalisation. The company was formed in 2003 to meet the need for dubbing of children’s television programmes to te reo Māori. This led to the development of innovative software solutions for the language services industry, VoiceQ for postproduction and QUTPro for digital publishing. We are now focused on taking advantage of explosive growth in the industry, particularly in media localization, driven by the likes of Netflix. For more, www.kiwadigital.com and www.voiceq.com