Meet the translators behind Moana Reo Māori

Three University of Auckland staff members have been tasked with translating the Walt Disney hit movie Moana into te reo Māori ahead of its release during Māori Language Week.

Moana Reo Māori Translator Vikky Demant says, "I'm overjoyed. I can't wait for this movie to be released for the world to see and for te reo Māori to be heard so our children can enjoy it."

The trio worked tirelessly through the night for weeks on end to get the job done.

University of Auckland lecturer Waldo Houia says, "We all work at the university so once we finished here we'd go to Tweedie's house where we would normally finish around 2am."

However, they say the challenges faced did not affect their motivation to be part of this monumental task.

"Every time we'd sit and work, we were thinking of the kids. We'd constantly think of how we should craft our words together in a language that would be relatable to the children." Says Demant.

The team often joined the cast in-studio to monitor the reo and to ensure continuity and support.

University of Auckland lecturer Katarina Edmonds says, "The good thing about Rob is that because he's from home we could boss him around. We could sit together with that sense of family, which made it easy to work together."

Moana Reo Māori is set to premiere next Monday.