Activating traditional sports and te reo Māori through technology

Te Puni Kōkiri has launched the first Māori language Kī-o-Rahi app, Puni Reo Kī-o-Rahi.

“This innovative tool is designed to bring a traditional Māori game that has been handed down over the centuries into our digital lives, making using te reo Māori on the sports field easy, fun and accessible,” says Te Puni Kōkiri Senior Advisor Eruera Lee-Morgan.

“Puni Reo is one of the first language platforms to support an indigenous language in the world of sports, and the first to include an indigenous sport like Kī-o-Rahi,” he says.

Eruera Lee-Morgan came up with the idea of a Māori language sports app as part of Te Puni Kōkiri’s Auckland Māori Language Plan.  Available for both Android and IOS users, Lee-Morgan sees the app as a way of increasing the use of te reo Māori in everyday whānau activities.

“This app can help whānau use te reo Māori while participating in traditional and contemporary sports with the support of the latest technology. It activates the use of Māori language in the sports domain where so many of our people participate.”

The app has been designed by He Oranga Poutama and myReo Studios. With the support of Te Puni Kōkiri, the team also launched a Māori language app for netball, Puni Reo Poitarawhiti at Polyfest 2018 in Auckland.

“We have purposefully targeted sports with high whānau involvement. According to statistics there has been a decline in the number of Māori language speakers so tools like this have the potential to help reverse that trend,” says Lee-Morgan.

It was launched at the annual Iwi of Origin Tournament in Tāmaki Makaurau. The Iwi of Origin Tournament is the largest iwi sports event of its kind in Aotearoa, attracting more than 2000 contestants across eight different sports codes.