Date: 18 September 2019
Ever wondered what some of our native species, places and spaces are in Te Reo Māori, or Mandarin and how to pronounce them?
The fantail, pīwakawaka or 扇尾鹟 is just one of many native species found in Tāmaki Makaurau that's now also found on a new trilingual nature app.
In a world first, the Department of Conservation (DOC), with the support of Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development (ATEED), has launched a nature app that incorporates Te Reo Māori, Chinese and English translations.
The app replaces the version released in 2016, which helped non-Te Reo Māori speakers feel more confident with correct pronunciation of place names, spaces and species in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland.
The updated version continues to focus on the correct Te Reo Māori, pronunciation but there is now also a Mandarin translation and pronunciation,
DOC Partnerships Director General Michelle Palmer says it's exciting to be launching this tri-lingual app.
"It is the United Nation's Year of Indigenous Languages and we are committed to working successfully with Treaty of Waitangi partners in nature every day," Michelle Palmer says.
Renamed Pūkete Taiao o Tāmaki Makaurau - the language of nature in Auckland - the expansion adds an enhanced destination experience with an interactive map as well as built in tips when visiting Auckland's iconic green and blue spaces. Species information includes the Māori name, the image and, in the case of native birds, their call.
"The app is a celebration of nature in Auckland focusing on the bountiful places, spaces and native species found there. Giving people the confidence to pronounce them in Te Reo Māori is a real privilege. This app makes it so easy and enjoyable," Michelle Palmer says.
ATEED General Manager Destination Steve Armitage says, "We are very excited to see this trilingual app launch in Tāmaki Makaurau, a platform which reflects the diverse and multicultural identity of our region, where more than 150 languages are spoken."
"Our Destination AKL 2025 Strategy addresses our commitment to enhancing the digital connectivity for Aucklanders and visitors alike. This app provides an opportunity to further raise awareness of Māori tourism and culture as an important component of Auckland's distinct identity, and in turn remind visitors and New Zealanders of the unique nature of our region."
The relaunch coincides with Māori Language Week, Conservation Week and Chinese Language Week which run concurrently from 9 September. The United Nations has also declared 2019 as the year of indigenous languages.
Designed and developed by Māori design and app development agencies BeFly and KIWA, the app offers a modern user experience accompanied with vibrant graphics to showcase that engaging with nature can be fun and accessible.
From today, Pūkete Taiao o Tāmaki Makaurau is a free download from the Google Play Store and the iOS App Store.
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