New technology to monitor amount of te reo on Māori radio

By Heta Gardiner

New technology has been added to all Māori radio stations to monitor the amount of Māori language spoken on air.

Te Reo Irirangi o Te Upoko o te Ika says one of the reasons for the implementation is that Te Māngai Pāhō has raised concerns about some radio stations not delivering the right amount of Māori language content.

The device is called Kōkako and it monitors the amount of Māori spoken on radio stations.

The monitoring programme has been in the works with Te Māngai Pāhō for four years, and is now in radio stations throughout the country.

However, there are still some issues, such as the fact the new technology can't identify some music as Māori, like kapa haka.

Adrian Tangaroa-Wagner says, “Broadcasters would like to see the accuracy at around 100%, but at the moment, I would speculate that it is closer to 70-80%.”

John Bishara of Te Māngai Pāhōsays, “It's really great that we've found some of the wrinkles in the system, and even better that we've been able to correct those.”

Te Reo Irirangi o Te Upoko o te Ika are in favour of this new technology as a useful tool for monitoring content.

However, they say the system came about because of concerns.

Wagner says, “It was explained to us that there were some concerns that some stations weren't producing the te reo content required, and this is one way data can be reported right back to them.”

Bishara says, “Māori radio stations have been saying that the reason they put this in, is like you said, there were concerns. Well I don't know who has the concerns, we don't have concerns about it. It's a contractual obligation for us. If they don't meet the 8 hours they don't get paid.”

This pilot programme officially comes into effect on July 1.