The University of Auckland has launched a bilingual feature on its website today (Tuesday 9 March), and te reo Māori and English now feature in partnership on its main menu. The transition is part of the revitalisation of te reo Māori, an initiative launched in 2019 by the Office of Pro-Vice Chancellor Māori.
Michael Steedman (Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, Uri o Hau), University of Auckland Kaiarataki (Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor Māori) said the presence of te reo every time the website is viewed is a testament to the University of Auckland Language Plan for the revitalisation of te reo Māori and the University’s commitment to promote, protect and preserve the language.
“The University website is probably our most important communication channel with more than five million users in 2020. It serves every part of the University community across the globe, so the inclusion of te reo Māori on the website says that we believe this is a language that is important to our students, staff, and all our stakeholders,” he said.
Development of the bilingual feature was led by the Office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor Māori, working with a Māori advisory group and the Web Team.
Penny Collins, Web Manager, said that the collective had dedicated countless hours of mahi (work), taima (time) and hui (meetings) to develop this feature.
“This was a big project that needed the Web Team to work closely with Office of the PVC Māori. By working together on this project, our te reo expanded significantly,” she said.
The University Language Plan for the Revitalisation of Te Reo Māori 2020-2025 was endorsed by the University Senior Leadership Team in 2019. Since then the University has launched a number of initiatives including the reo and tikanga Māori digital learning app Te Kūaha (the Doorway), Kuputaka, a glossary of terms for staff and students, and new buildings with bilingual signage and symbols of tikanga Māori, such as the Pou adorning the entrance to the new Engineering Building, Te Herenga Mātai Pūkaha.
“As a university we are committed to keeping up the momentum and will continue to roll out our te reo revitalisations initiatives during the year,” said Michael Steedman.