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Integrating te Ao Māori into the workforce

7 Whiringa-ā-rangi 2017

Aotearoa New Zealand

Technology innovator Kiwa Digital is gaining momentum in its mission to integrate te Ao Maori into workforces in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Kiwa works with business, government and community organisations to develop their own Cultural Intelligence (CQ) app with features that include interactive te Reo Maori expressions and pronunciation, tikanga Maori, and the history and values of the organisation.

Kiwa has now produced the CQ apps for eleven national organisations - ranging from Air NZ, Spark, Vector, Vodafone and Meridian Energy, through to WorkSafe NZ, DOC, Waikato Regional Council and Auckland Council. And it has launches by year-end for further government agencies, a major tertiary institution, two District Health Boards and one of New Zealand’s largest corporates.

“Our aspirational kaupapa is to reach and influence 50% of Aotearoa’s workforce by 2020!” says Kiwa Digital CEO Steven Renata.

Kiwa’s mahi in this area was today recognized with nomination as a Finalist in the Māori Language Commission’s Ngā Tohu Reo Māori/ National Māori Language Awards, in both Business and Education categories.

“We are using technology to enable the vision of Ahakoa kei whea, Ahakoa āwhea, Ahakoa pēwhea, Kōrerotia te reo Māori. Māori language – everyday, everyway, everywhere. The apps make a clear statement to employees that an understanding of te Ao Maori is expected and supported, and that this sits at the centre of the organisation’s vision and strategies” says Renata.

The initiative has also been credited with raising wider community awareness of te reo Maori as a language that is worth fighting for: Waikato Regional Council’s Kawe Korero was the most downloaded business app in New Zealand when launched; and Auckland Council’s Kete Korero has been endorsed by the Independent Maori Statutory Board as an initiative that will increase visibility of te reo Maori throughout Tamaki Makaurau.

“The momentum is building. It's been 45 years since the Māori Language petition was presented to Parliament and 30 years since Māori was declared an official language of Aotearoa New Zealand; but we are now in top gear, with technology enabling scale and reach well beyond what’s been dreamed of in the past. Haere mai, Nau mai ki Te Aō Matahiko | Welcome to the Digital World.” says Renata.


Kiwa Digital is a technology innovator working across the media industry in digital publishing, ed-tech and post-production sectors. The company has championed the promotion of te Reo Maori since it was established in 2003 to facilitate the dubbing of children's TV into te reo and has an international reputation for its work in language revitalisation. As well as the Cultural Intelligence strategy, its work in the past 12 months’ ranges through publishing a library of digital reo puzzles for preschoolers, a health promotion initiative for South Auckland rangatahi Maori; and software support for the dubbing of Disney’s Moana.

Supporting video Kawe Korero

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