This article was written by Waldo Kuipers, Corporate Affairs Manager, Microsoft New Zealand Limited, and was originally published on the New Zealand Microsoft GovTech blog.

The Māori Language Awards 2012 were held on Friday last week in Tauranga, an inspiring event that celebrated the contributions of 30 individuals and organisations who have contributed to te reo Māori through their work. I attended the event with my colleague, Anne Taylor, who has supported Microsoft's investment in te reo Māori since 2004.

Microsoft has collaborated with language experts to bring te reo Māori to WindowsOffice and Internet Explorer. All it takes to add a te reo Māori user interface to these products is installing the free downloads for each product. We encourage everyone to try it.

We are honoured to be recognised for this investment through the awards. We would like to take a moment to acknowledge all those who have been involved with this work, and thank them for it. This work has only been possible because of your passion and dedication:

  • Haami Piripi, Huhana Rokx, Sharon Armstrong, Lee Smith, Te Haumihiata Mason, Te Taka Keegan, Tom Roa, Roger Lewis, Wareko Te Āngina, Eva Mahara, Hohepa MacDougall, John Moorfield and Dave Moskovitz,
  • Te Taurawhiri I Te Reo Māori,
  • Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato and Te Whare Wānanga o Otāgo,
  • School Principal Laura Hawksworth and students at Toku Mapihi Maurea Kura Kaupapa Maori,
  • Parekura Horomia, David Cunliffe and John Tamihere, and
  • many others who have worked on the projects.

 The work that these people have made possible for three generations of products (from Windows XP onwards) includes:

  • a Māori keyboard layout to offer easier access to macrons,
  • around 2,000 technology-related terms expressed in te reo Māori for the first time, such as co-processor (hoatukatuka); de-fragmentation (whakatōpūnga); progress indicator (tōtohu kaunuku); cascading menu (tahua hūkere); interrupt request (tono haukati); network adapter (whāurutau whatunga); router (pouara); identifier (pūtāutu); and adapter (pūurutau),
  • nearly 100,000 phrases translated into te reo Māori, and
  • an electronic Māori dictionary to provide spelling suggestions in Microsoft Office.

The award therefore represents the dedicated hard work of many people working together to a common objective.

Although I am not fluent, I was determined to do my best to deliver my speech in te reo. I know that my pronunciation was far from perfect, so just in case I was not easy to understand I have attached my full speech notes below.

I would also like to acknowledge the work by the other finalists in the ICT category: Vodafone NZ and Hika Group were finalists for the work they did to launch the Hika smartphone app that translates common phrases between English and te reo, and Dennis J Gray was a finalist for the Māori language keyboard he has developed, which includes dedicated keys for the macrons that are used to write in te reo.

Thank you to Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori and all of the other supporters and sponsors for making this fantastic event possible.

Māori Language Awards 2012 event photo by Alick Saunders. With thanks to Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori.