News website Stuff starts to translate stories into te reo Māori

By Kevin Harrison, Tapatahi

Stuff, one of New Zealand's largest mainstream news websites, is translating some of its news stories into te reo Māori.  

Editor-in-chief Patrick Crewdson says that, with help from the Māori Language Commission, Stuff has already published a handful of stories in Māori and many more are in the works. 

Crewdson says one of the main reasons is to normalise te reo Māori.

"We have the country's largest digital platform and we publish hundreds of stories every day in English. Stuff's editorial director, my boss Mark Stevens, has had some conversations with Te Taura Whiri about the possibilities of translating and they were very generous, very helpful and agreed to start doing some translations for us."

Stuff recently launched its new website homepage, which is the biggest change made to its platform in 10 years. With that came the addition of a new section called 'Pou Tiaki' which was spearheaded by Stuff national correspondent and veteran journalist Carmen Parahi. 'Pou Tiaki' has been set up to give much greater coverage of te ao Māori, Māori voices and perspectives.

However, Stuff will not be employing new staff to translate its content rather getting help from the Māori Language Commission to translate its stories.

Crewdson says, "Our staff has reacted extremely positively. People were really excited to see it and considered it a step forward for us" he adds on to that saying that readers have also reacted positively. 

Stuff had recently been bought by CEO Sinead Boucher from Australian owner Nine and this change has seen the company take a renewed focus on the type of stories it tells.

"It's a time for a renewed focus on the sort of site we want to be ... and more broadly as an organisation the sort of culture we want to have and how we want to represent New Zealand."

He admits that, while Stuff may be a good reflection of New Zealand, it does 'skew' more to a Pākehā view. It wants better representation in the stories it tells and also its staff.