Te Mangai Paho to administer the proposed $30 million ICT fund for Māori

This is a positive step forward for Māori society and for tax payers. The money is being administered by a government entity that has a proven track record in administering large amounts of funds, is publicly accountable and who are being transparent with the way they plan to structure the organisation.


The Māori ICT expert panel group I assume will be made of ICT experts with a Maori language and or economic development background and will be appointed via a public process as opposed to appointing the elite few, the cuzzies or the bro’s which is so common.


It would only make sense now that anonymous  Māori Party’s Ngā Pu Waea  “National Māori Broadband Working Group” also be merged into Te Mangai Paho as the new government super Māori ICT entity. Perhaps as a sub committee of the Expert Māori ICT Advisory group.


The following months will be interesting, watching what will happen to the sudden flurry of new Māori ICT groups and individuals who almost appeared over night at the announcement that there may be a $30 million fund after the government refused to recognise radio spectrum as a taonga. http://www.taiuru.maori.nz/radio-spectrum-digital-land-in-a-new-era-of-confiscation/


I imagine the relevant ministers will be happy that all of these new groups and individuals will not be knocking on the door saying they are the only representative Māori ICT group and that the others are not. That there must be so much confusion for those without the cognitive ability to research or ask the right questions to figure out who is who and who does what.


The other benefit is that Te Mangai Paho will fall under the new Te Mātāwai electoral college who will take ownership of Te Mangai Paho and Te Taura Whiri. In my opinion again, this is another positive step forward and recognizes the fatal floor in the Māori Language strategy that ignored technology as a key tool for language revitalization.


I suspect that the Māori Spectrum group will be reconsidering their tribunal case they lost for the spectrum in which they referred to the $30 million fund as a beads and blankets deal.


A positive day for Māoridom and the first step forward for Māori to become more economically self-sustainable and advance in the Information Technology Communications fields.


Posted in Spectrum by karaitiana. No Comments

Te Reo Māori Strategy lacks todays thinking

maori_te_reoThe Minister of Māori Affairs, Hon Dr Pita Sharples announced a proposed change in te reo strategy but failed to miss the fact that technology plays a vital role in this area.

For any language to be spoken by the masses it must be normalised and easy to access and widely used in not only the family but also in all aspects of society. There is a myriad of research that proves this to be the only successful solution for a language to survive.

Māori Television and Iwi radio has significantly normalised te reo Māori in the home, as much of the content is in te reo Māori. The next biggest home entertainment or in some areas the primary entertainment service is the Internet. Social media in Aotearoa New Zealand is a primary entertainment service which the te reo strategy has completely ignored.

Māori TV and Iwi radio became possible with the Waitangi Tribunal claim WAI 11 for spectrum allocation to Māori. WAI 776 sought spectrum for Māori on the same grounds to promote te reo Māori and gave Māori an opportunity to invest in spectrum and for the creation of 2Degrees mobile.

The claim for 4G spectrum failed as it was determined that the Crown could more effectively promote te reo Māori me Tiakanga via direct funding. In my opinion the justification for this is reasonable. Te Huarahi Tika Trust who are responsible for representing Māori and their investment in 3G spectrum via 2DegreesMobile and to promote te reo Māori have failed to deliver any significant benefits to Māori, while operating in a cloak and dagger style organisation for over a decade. Two lower end smart phones that are partially translated in te reo Māori were produced, while requests from the Android community to work in partnership to share resources so that anyone could freely use a localised Android phone were ignored, resulting in poor progress of te reo Māori in ICT.

Te Taura Whiri the Crown organisation who are Kaitiaki (Guardian) of te reo Māori have always been technology shy. Despite the high statistics usage in Aotearoa/New Zealand Te Taura Whiri have done little to normalise te reo in this area.

Google, Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Windows 8Microsoft Office, Microsoft Smart Phone, Mega Upload and Facebook are all available in te reo Māori but none had a great deal of attention or support from Te Taura Whiri. Facebook which is used by 63% of New Zealanders was translated into te reo Māori by a language expert, yet Te Taura Whiri engaged on a knee jerk smear campaign saying the words were transliterations, created in isolation etc., despite the fact many of the words are used in Google and Microsoft products and there were not one transliteration in the system and the fact that a recognised and Te Taura Whiri certified language expert created the translations.

The proposed te reo governance consultation must consider all of the above facts and consider how best to normalise te reo Māori in the new world of technology and the Internet. It should also consider how best to use one taonga (700 MHZ Radio Spectrum) to protect another taonga (te reo Māori). It is time for a radical shift in thought and to invite young leaders who live in the new world to be actively involved in the te reo strategy.

te reo Māori Spam brings te reo Māori into 21st Century

spamWith so much emphasis on te reo Māori being normalised; it looks as though spammers are now using Google Translate to translate spam into te reo Māori according to Robyn Gallagher http://www.robyngallagher.com/2014/01/11/te-reo-Māori-419-spam/ .

Is this a new avenue of normalisation albeit an annoying but normal part of our online lives? I suspect so! and that this is just the beginning of a new era of spam, viruses and phishing attacks that will be conducted in te reo Māori.

On one hand it is encouraging to see that te reo Māori is being recognised by international spammers as a living language but will this provide a negative backlash with speakers of te reo Māori who may be more trusting of a plea of assistance that is written in te reo Māori? Or perhaps we will see more sophisticated phishing attacks aimed at te reo Māori speakers?

In turn, Virus companies, Spam filers, phisinging alerts and web sites will all now need to recognise te reo Māori in order to be useful tools. Likewise, schools and web safelty agencies will also need to become aware of Google Translate when dealing with threats and other abusive correspondence that has been translated into te reo Māori.

It may also make hackers think more about te reo Māori passwords and phrases that many Māori speakers use for passwords as they are not so easily broken by automation attacks such as dictionary attacks.

This of course will provide ammunition for the te reo Māori elitists who will claim that automated te reo Māori tools such as Google Translate will only corrupt te reo Māori , as te reo Māori becomes more accessible and normalised loosing much of its current economic value. But automated translations should be embraced and used as a tool for people to learn to speak Māori and it certainly makes te reo Māori more mainstream and normal. There will always be a need for well written te reo Māori as there is with well written English.

A positive example of Google Translate is my American friend in Los Angeles sent me a Christmas card written in te reo Māori using Google Translate. It is exciting and surreal to read it, but it is nice and is promoting the usage of te reo Māori on a global scene that was once never possible.

In Twitter post, a te reo expert/Public Figure and broadcaster Juilian Wilcox rightly points out that the translation is not the best and he likens part of it to Samoan and Tongan. But Google and Dr Te Taka Keegan have raised the fact that the automated translation now required human suggestions to improve the automated translations. The more speakers of te reo Māori who assist with the improvements the better automation will become.

Te reo Maori in spam is simply an evolution of a once dying language that is now accessible to anyone in the world with access to Google Translate.


Posted in Localisation Macrons Maori Online by karaitiana. 1 Comment

Automated te reo Māori translations via Google

Google recently announced its support for several minority languages to translate into and from English with Māori being one of the minority languages.

Background information from my October 15 2009 post is here.

To use the translator visit http://translate.google.com
For years a computer generated system to translate to and from te reo Māori has only been a dream and one that most people never expected to occur.

Google Translate will translate from Māori to English and English to Māori. To translate from English to Māori:

  1. On the right hand side of the screen click on the down arrow button
  2. Select “Maori”
  3. Type the English sentences into the text area
  4. Output translation will appear in the right hand of the screen.







Māori speakers required to improve translations.

The Translator is still in its infancy and does require fluent speakers to rate various translations that will be used to improve the algorithms of the system. Anyone can do this without the need to register or log in. Simply visit http://translate.google.com

The translations are mediocre and often do not have macrons, but nevertheless the system works well for an early system.


 External Links

TV3 News http://www.3news.co.nz/Mori-added-to-Google-Translate/tabid/412/articleID/324889/Default.aspx

Google Blog http://google-newzealand.blogspot.co.nz/2013/07/e-aroha-ana-ki-tou-reo-tena-awhinatia.html


Posted in Localisation Maori Online by karaitiana. 1 Comment

Digital Divide Stats for Maori

The World Internet Project New Zealand released their latest report “World Internet Project, New Zealand; The Internet in New Zealand 2013.” with some interesting statistics based ethnicity and in particular, Māori.


I have extracted the ethnicity statistics and have included commentary.


  •  Māori and Pasifika internet users, especially those in lower income households, take the lead in subscriptions to music streaming services like Spotify. More than one in five Māori (21%) and Pasifika (23%) users in households with annual incomes of less than $50,000 have paid for a subscription to a music streaming service in the past year.
    This should be no suprise as it has been a long acknowledged fact the Māori value the entertainment value of services such as the Internet that can be used in a communal environment. It should also be considered that music has and will always play a large part of Māori culture.


  • Internet usage in the four main ethnicity groups; NZ European n=1242, Māori n=143, Pasifika n=95, Asian n=219. | Note: Māori and Pasifika respondents are younger, on average, than New Zealand European respondents – reflecting the NZ population.
    This is deeply disturbing and an issue our Maori politicians, leaders, Iwi and marae need to consider for the well being of Maori. There are several areas that need to be addressed: Access, Education, culture and economic benefits. Once our leaders and politicians make better use of the Internet there will be a flow on effect.

  • Almost two out of three Māori and Pasifika internet users (65%) say they mainly use the internet in communal areas of their homes such as the living room or dining area, higher than NZ European (58%). NZ European respondents are most likely to use the internet in an office or study, with a quarter saying this was their main location for home internet use.
    Again, this has always been a common fact and a cultural fact. No surprises!


  • There are substantial differences between ethnicities when it comes to visiting websites that are mainly in a language other than English, with 22% of Asian respondents and 13% of Māori doing this (most of the latter visit sites in Māori).
    Assuming the non English pages for Māori are in te reo. This is encouraging to read and te reo experts need to take notice of this and promote more localisation and promotion of te reo in ICT. The flow on effect will be more Māori participation in ICT which will then provide more economic and social benefits.


  • Translate word or phrase online: Asians (66%), Maori and NZ European(64%) and Pasifika (61%).
    The report doesn’t explain what language the ethnicities translate. But I assume that Māori are using online Māori dictionaries which as above is encouraging to read and te reo experts need to take notice of this and promote more usage and promotion of te reo in ICT.


  • Usage Index by age and ethnicity. Internet users in the four main ethnicity groups ; NZ European n=1242, Māori n=143, Pasifika n=95, Asian n=219. Note: Māori and Pasifika respondents are younger, on average, than New Zealand European respondents – reflecting the NZ population.
    This is a real concern and one that our politicians and leaders need to address and seek solutions to. I am loath to suggest there is a digital divide based on economic situations, but more about: lack of entertainment, access, Māori usage of the Internet and education about how and what the Internet can do for Māori. 


  • Pasifika (47%) and Asian (50%) respondents go online to look at religious or spiritual websites much more than NZ European (19%) and Māori (21%).
    It is interesting that religious topics were chosen as opposed to seeking education information, job seeking or online banking.


  • NZ European (89%) and Māori (79%) buy things online more than Pacific (56%) and Asians (86).
    I am surprised at this statistic. But it shows that there is economic benefits for Māori to invest more in e-commerce by and for Maori. Perhaps TPK should be considering this statistic with their economic strategies.


  • NZ European (96%), Asians (94%) and Māori (95%) use search engines more than Pasifika at 84%.
    This reinforces the fact that localizing search engines such as Google Māori are positive. It also shows that Māori are using the Internet to find new information. Again, if the research on finding information was expanded from ‘religious’ then this could have proven valuable information in the socio/cultural/economic development of Māori.


  • A significantly higher proportion of Māori (60%) and Pasifika (57%) respondents rated other people as an important source of information than did NZ European (45) and Asians (50%).
    There is still a lot of distrust with Māori and technology. I hope that as a culture we can grow and utilise the Internet more while still holding on to cultural values such as kaumatua, marae etc.


  • Māori (7%) and Pasifika New Zealanders (14%) have higher rates of internet non-use,  than NZ Europeans (5%) and Asians (3%).
    It is encouraging to see that gap is only minor. I believe things like social media and localisation have closed this gap. The more entertainment value the more likely Māori are to use it. If Māori leaders and politicians also used the Internet more, I am sure Māori participation would increase. 


  • Māori (7%) are ex users if the Internet compared to NZ European (2%).
    I have seen this occur a lot in the community. Māori have access to the Internet via an education provider then can not afford the costs at home, or in some cases there is no Internet access in the area. There is also issues of cyber bullying or the fear of, pornography and of children being exposed to predators that stop some whānau from using an Internet connection.


  • Of those that are online, a similar proportion of NZ European (16%), Māori (13%) and Pasifika (16%) users are Low Level users, while there are fewer Asian Low Level users (7%).
    Again, It is encouraging to see that gap is only minor, but Māori need to address this issue and think how we can best utilise the Internet for soci/cultural/economic benefits.


  • Māori (35%) use multiple devices to access the Internet. Pasifika New Zealanders (24%), Asians (45%) and NZ European (38%).
    I suspected the rate may have been higher. It is encouraging to see the small gap. The multiple devices are likely smart phones and music devices. Music devices as music is such an important aspect of its culture and phones as a lot of research has suggested the cost of a land line or credit history often prevents a connection.


  • There is a significant difference in terms of ethnicity when it comes to regularly accessing the internet by proxy, with more than a third (34%) of NZ European non-users having asked someone to do something for them online several times, compared to just one in ten Māori/Pasifika non-users.
    Again, this is a trust issue with technology, so no surprises.


Posted in Uncategorized by karaitiana. No Comments