New Zealanders highlight te reo Māori names to be updated on Google Maps

21 September 2017

MEDIA RELEASE - More than 54,000 New Zealanders have taken up the opportunity to pin incorrectly pronounced te reo Māori place names on an online platform developed by Vodafone and Google Maps.

The most ‘pinned’ places identified by Kiwis on the Say it Tika (Say it right, #sayittika) website as needing attention are Tauranga, Waikato, Taupo, Manurewa, Rotorua and Whangarei.

Say it Tika”, which launched during Te Wiki O Te Reo Māori (11-17 September), gives Kiwis an important role to enhance the local pronunciation of global platform Google Maps.

The campaign has been endorsed by long-time te reo Māori advocate Temuera Morrison through a tongue-in-cheek video calling for New Zealanders to help Google “Say it Tika” when pronouncing te reo Māori place names.

Vodafone is overwhelmed by how many New Zealanders have got involved with the initiative in the first week.

"We’re proud of how New Zealanders have responded to correcting te reo Māori place names with more than 8,900 places pinned on Google Maps, 870,000 views of the video with Temuera Morrison and 13,000 sharing it on Facebook,” says Matt Williams, Vodafone New Zealand Consumer Director.

The Māori place names pinned by Kiwis has created a priority list to be updated first. Vodafone and Google, in consultation with Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori (the Māori Language Commission), will now start to work through the list to enhance the pronunciation of these place names.

Te reo tika (correct) place names are set to be heard on millions of mobile devices from late this year. While these names are being updated, New Zealanders can continue to pin incorrectly pronounced names on the Say it Tika website.

New Zealanders highlight te reo Māori names to be updated on Google Maps