The first Auckland train service to have te reo Māori announcements left Britomart Station today and ran to Onehunga.
From tomorrow all Auckland train services will have te reo announcements which has been timed to coincide with Matariki.
Independent Māori Statutory Board deputy chairman Glenn Wilcox says this is a major step towards bringing te reo into the everyday lives of Aucklanders.
“This is about making sure te reo is heard in Auckland, and about encouraging people to learn the language. By hearing their language everyday, I am hoping people will seek it out and understand that the reo makes Auckland unique, it is the world’s largest Polynesian City. I’m pleased to see that Auckland Transport has taken the step to make this happen.
“The Independent Māori Statutory Board has worked with the Auckland Council family to make te reo more prominent across the city. By exposing more people, and particularly our young people, to te reo, this will only make Auckland a better place.”
This is the first stage in the te reo on public transport programme, and features the main safety announcements and the beginning and mid-point of the journey. The next stage will include an enhancement of the current messages in te reo throughout the journey.
Minister of Transport Phil Twyford says, “ It’s great to see this initiative by Auckland Transport, making te reo Māori a part of many Aucklanders’ daily commute.”
Auckland Transport chief executive Shane Ellison says a lot of thought and effort has gone into making this project a reality.
“Bringing te reo onto trains is very exciting, and we’re really proud of it. If Auckland Transport can bring the joy and importance of the language to more people in Auckland then that’s a big step in the right direction.”
The introduction of Māori language on trains is Auckland Transport’s contribution to Auckland Council’s Māori Language Policy. This policy recognises te reo Māori as a cultural treasure and an official language of New Zealand and is New Zealand’s point of difference in the world. AT is committed to the Māori language being seen, heard, spoken and learnt throughout the transport network.
The announcements have been recorded by actor and television presenter Miriama Smith.