News | 19 September 2022

New te reo Māori app supports bilingual city goals

Taranaki Whānui, Ngāti Toa and Wellington City Council are excited to launch Mahau, a new Māori language app to celebrate, encourage and share te reo Māori in Te Whanganui-a-Tara.

Mahau app creative artwork and design showing image on phones

Mahau was developed alongside Mana Whenua to enable the community to give te reo Māori a go any day and anywhere. Mahau will also help to engage, speak and understand our local dialects of te reo Māori.

It’s a free, easy-to-use, interactive app to help locals and visitors to the city get started on their reo journey with phrases created specifically for Wellington City. 

Mahau will help the beginner with te reo Māori words and pronunciation, as well as provide a substantial list of Wellington destinations and place names, and will help the user to build their own pepeha and mihimihi.

Council’s Tātai Heke Māori Karepa Wall says this app caps off a significant year for Māori and te reo in Pōneke.

“It’s been a remarkable year with the first Matariki public holiday happening in Aotearoa, the Council’s formalising of a partnership with Mana Whenua through Tākai Here, a new Māori Language Festival Te Hui Ahurei Reo Māori o Te Whanganui-a-Tara as part of Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori, and celebrations for Te Petihana Reo Māori the 50th anniversary of the Māori language petition being delivered to Parliament.

“This is a continuation on the strong foundations laid by Te Tauihu o Te Reo Māori, the Māori Language policy created to celebrate te reo Māori and support the revitalisation of the language within Council activities and Wellington City, ultimately supporting Pōneke in becoming a bilingual city by 2040 – 200 years since the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi.”

Lee Hunter, Tumu Whakarae Chief Executive, Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust, thinks the Mahau app rocks!

“Mahau is a useful tool for anyone to pick up and use. It might be that you are looking for a place name within Wellington City, or the correct pronunciation of a word to give confidence to its use. Either way the written and oral functions give the user a sense of confidence with its use.”

The free Mahau app will be available for download after the launch date of Friday 23 September. The public will also get to try out the app at events, festivals, libraries and other Council facilities over the next few months.

The app development, translation services and on-going promotional campaign costs are estimated at $70K.