Stories of Te Reo

Te Reo Māori tells the unique stories of Aotearoa, but for most of the 20th century, our native language has been actively discouraged by the government and New Zealand society at large.

Stories of Te Reo

Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori Māori Language Commission engaged For Purpose to support a public storytelling campaign that empowers users to collect the stories of their own communities so these kōrero can live on forever.

The website is an interactive experience that makes use of sound, video, and animation, bringing to life the characters, stories, and moments that have kept the language alive.

Dark grey background with computer screen displaying the homepage of Stories of Te Reo website

Our mahi:

2022 marked 50 years since the Māori Language Petition was presented to parliament, requesting for te reo to be reintroduced to schools. To celebrate the anniversary of the signing of this petition and the Māori language renaissance that has followed in the last 50 years,Te Taura Whiri I te Reo Māori (Māori Language Commission) wanted to launch an interactive storytelling website that honours the history of te reo.

With this in mind, the commission engaged For Purpose to support a public storytelling campaign that empowers users to collect the stories of their own communities so these kōrero can live on forever.

The objectives of this project were to inspire and empower whānau to capture and protect their own stories of intergenerational te reo Māori loss and revitalisation, to increase the public awareness and knowledge of the historical fight for te reo and to provide ways to preserve and honour these stories safely.

The design process involved Māori language experts, designers, developers and community organisers collaborating to create a safe online space where Māori and non-Māori can contribute their experiences to the history of te reo. The creative process involved input and feedback from the community through interviews and user/website testing.

The outcome of this project is the bilingual website, Stories of te reo, which offers users the unique chance to explore pivotal moments in the revitalisation of te reo.

The website is an interactive experience that makes use of sound, video, and animation, bringing to life the characters, stories, and moments that have kept the language alive. Users are invited to upload their own content to ensure these stories, the successes and the sacrifices are never forgotten.

Languages tell the stories of humanity. They help us feel connected to each other and to understand our past, present and future. The government-led campaign to erase te reo Māori has caused decades of intergenerational heartbreak and loss. It is important that we understand the atrocities of our history, as well as celebrating the revitalisation of the language that we see today.

Dark grey background with computer screen displaying the homepage of Stories of Te Reo website

Partner: Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori Māori Language Commission 

You can visit the Stories of te reo website here