Mixed reactions on new Whaikōrero app

By Mānia Clarke-Mamanu

An interactive software program teaching whaikōrero has been launched on social media.  Software designer William Poutu says it's aimed at anyone who wants to learn, but it's receiving mixed reactions from Māori youth to traditionalists.

The Whaikōrero Māori interactive teaching software available for purchase on Facebook and the internet is being welcomed by followers.

Creator William Poutu says, “It certainly caters for a lot of different types of scenario's and learners.”

It’s created discussion amongst young Māori orators and parents.

“It's a good resource for youth, elderly men, and women, also.”

“I still wouldn't use it. I just use my mind. Never mind using the computer and technology.”

“If we buy this device to teach us, that's not normal. It doesn't have a physical presence, spirit or voice like a person does.”

The teaching program was created two years ago and relaunched earlier this week. The Queensland-based designer says it's also a financial opportunity for his whānau.

Poutu says, “Like for instance in Australia where there are so many over here that don't know their whakapapa, their tikanga, and they want to learn about just the language itself.”

Te Wānanga Takiura head Tāwhirimātea Williams says, “Every person has their own tribe, their own marae, and customs. I think if someone wants to know how to speak with the essence of their own tribe, the spirit of their people, they should return home to learn.”

Poutu will next release software to teach songs to children.