Why do we need a new Māori Dictionary
It may appear that this Papakupu project has arisen out of nowhere, but the truth is that the original idea began over 16 years ago as a budding young IT probie. I was the architect and builder of Te Reo Tupu Māori dictionary (now known as Reo Tupu).
Many said Te Reo Tupu is and was an invaluable tool, the team and I thought it was a technological break though and a large step forward for reo Māori. Sadly Te Reo Tupu ended its success prematurely due to commercial reasons.
Māori language is not a commercial stream of income for the elite who can build and finance such products. It is a birth right and one that I have already showed my commitment to with the free Te Ngutu Kura Māori Spell Checker.
Over the past 16 years I have dreamed and contemplated this new project. Sadly, despite being involved in several other Māori Dictionary projects, there was the organisational requirements and personalities that in my opinion prevented great products being greater and more valuable.
I envisage the Papakupu and recent academic advancements with similar projects will revolutionise the way we think of and access Māori Dictionaries. It is my hope that we will be able to choose between a few Māori Dictionaries that are comprehensive and complete enough that we only are required to purchase the one dictionary. Similar to the way we can purchase one English Dictionary with the knowledge that it will have most if not all words we would seek out.
I also envisage a time that all new Māori words will be made immediately public and without charge to for all language speakers to utilise and learn much the same way the English language is.