Vodafone has launched an initiative, Say it Tika (Say it Right), that seeks to improve the pronunciation of Maori words on Google Maps.
Vodafone's platform, developed with Google Maps, gives users the chance to drop a pin on a virtual map of New Zealand, identifying the Maori place names that are currently being mispronounced.
This data will create a ‘priority list' of words for Google Maps to update. This list will be worked through with support from the Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Maori (the Maori Language Commission), with te reo tika (correct) place names set to be updated on Google Maps later this year.
Ngahiwi Apanui, chief executive of Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Maori (Maori Language Commission) says, “Our vision is to have te reo Māori resonate throughout the entire country.
“We want to see and hear te reo Maori everywhere - on the streets, in shops, in schools, on radio, on TV and online.
Say it Tika is launching ahead of Te Wiki O Te Reo Maori, which begins 11 September and runs until the 17th. From today, Kiwis are able to access the map and begin pin pointing the mispronounced place names they have encountered while using Google Maps.
“We connect millions of New Zealanders to Google Maps every year and supporting Google to improve pronunciation in Aotearoa is an important way we can play a part in preserving the taonga (treasure) that te reo Maori is. It's up to all of us now to put the mahi (work) in,” says Matt Williams, Vodafone New Zealand consumer director.
Apanui adds, “We are proud to partner with Vodafone and Google Maps to further progress towards this aim in the Say it Tika campaign.
Long-time te reo Maori advocate, Temuera Morrison, is the face of the movement, and stars in a tongue in cheek video, calling for Kiwis to help Google say it tika when pronouncing te reo Maori place names.