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Launching Kahungunu voices on mobile app

Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga (NPM) and Radio Kahungunu are delighted to announce the launch this week of the new te reo Māori app – Pukapuka Kōrero Tahi, a Māori language resource based on treasured collections from the storehouse of oral archives at Radio Kahungunu.

Born out of an NPM project which was led by Dr Joseph Te Rito, the Pukapuka Kōrero Tahi app is a collection of reo Māori conversations between radio announcers Apikara Rārere and Te Arahea Robin. Dr Te Rito comments, ‘Ka mutu te rauemi rawe rawa atu mo te whakaako me te ako i te reo Māori, ko te taupānga nei, ko Pukapuka Korero Tahi. (The app Pukapuka Korero Tahi is an amazing tool for both teaching and learning the Māori language.)’

The set of recordings and accompanying transcriptions and translations in the hard copy book published in 2016, were brought to life by AUT digital developers, Hohepa Spooner and Sophia Spivak and in doing so transport this invaluable resource for Māori language learners fully into the digital age.

Dr Te Rito said the development of the taupānga (app) has far exceeded his expectations for the original, hard-copy ‘talking book’. From a touch screen mobile phone, the learner can immediately hear the authentic natural voices of the two women speaking Māori, and follow along by reading the transcriptions; and/or reading the English translations. Text can be increased and decreased in size and the screen can be moved from left to right. Both edges of the pages can be made to disappear so that only the Māori text or English text remains in sight.

Apikara and Te Arahea were captured in a series of recordings over 20 years, and their discussions are delivered in the vernacular of Ngāti Kahungunu and Rongomaiwahine on subjects of both local and national relevance.

This precious and unique taonga is a bilingual resource for teaching and learning te reo Māori, while also focusing on strengthening Rongomaiwahine-Kahungunu dialects through the promotion of conversational Māori. The app was converted from the first in a series of five books and is available to download for free, to both mobiles and soon to desktop computers. The manuscripts of the other four books are near completion and Dr Te Rito hopes to have these converted directly to apps rather than to hard copy books.

Minister for Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta will officially launch the app on 15 May at Radio Kahungunu’s premises, in Hastings.

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