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Kiwa Digital Supports Reo-Ification of New Zealand

Reo-Ification of New Zealand

Big business and government are backing te Reo Māori long-term with initiatives launched during Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori says technology innovator Kiwa Digital.

The company produces an interactive mobile app that introduces te Ao Māori to employees keen to understand more about our unique identity.

The apps are developed collaboratively and make the crucial link between language and culture, with customisable features that include te Reo Māori pronunciation and expressions, tikanga Māori, and the history and values of the organisation.

Projects launched during the week include the public launch of the Kawe Kōrero app by Waikato Regional Council. Developed to help staff, councilors and other councils to effectively communicate in partnerships with iwi and Māori, the app is getting rave reviews and interest well beyond its boundaries.

Apps launched internally include Tuia te ao for Spark New Zealand, an initiative to help Spark staff to incorporate more Māori protocol and language in to their work lives. This initiative reflects a growing focus on cultural diversity and inclusion within big business, including strong backing for the use of te Reo Māori.

As Māori Language Week wraps up, digital champion Kiwa Digital is calling for Te Ao Māori to be placed at the centre of our increasingly digital lives.

“Technology is the key to transferring the fun of a week of learning words and phrases into sustainable change” says Steven Renata CEO of Kiwa Digital.

The company aspires to reach at least 25% of New Zealand’s workforce with this resource within the next 12 months, to support what it calls the reo-fication of our lives.

It has already produced cultural apps for Air New Zealand, Auckland Council, Callaghan Innovation, the Department of Conservation, Meridian Energy, WorkSafe New Zealand and Vector; and has further projects due for launch, including with two more Councils, a major DHB and an Auckland secondary school.

“We see a future where technology enables knowledge of te Reo Māori and tikanga Māori to be integrated into our work, travel, leisure and social media activities – providing on-demand access to Te Ao Māori in an inter-connected world” says Steven Renata.

It’s a vision shared by leading proponents of the revitalisation of Te Reo Māori: “Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori is clear about the role that technology and in particular apps will play in the revitalisation of te reo Māori and increasing understanding of te ao Māori. Kiwa Digital is one of few companies that is targeting this space and we are very pleased to support their work.” says Ngahiwi Apanui Tumuaki, Chief Executive, Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori.

Steven Renata adds: “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”.


About Kiwa Digital Ltd

Founded in 2003 to facilitate dubbing of children’s television programs for Māori, Kiwa Digital offers services that contribute to increased use of indigenous languages in new digital spaces. The company was awarded Te Toa Reo Māori Rorohiko/ Auaha at the Māori Language Awards 2015 and 2016. See

Supporting media

Waikato Regional Council promotional video:

Sample app:

Kawe Kōrere | Windows

Kawe Kōrero | IOS

Kawe Kōrero | Android

Client quote:

“WorkSafe has embraced digital technology to work smarter and more efficiently. The Te Kete Maruiti digital app has enabled staff on-demand, 24/7 access to a bundle of Te Ao Māori resources including Te Reo. Staff are actively using the app to build their capability in te Reo so they are better equipped when engaging with Māori stakeholders and workers in the workplace.” Gee Dennis, National Advisor Māori, WorkSafe New Zealand.

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