Seventy Auckland Link buses have begun playing te reo Māori announcements as they travel about the city.
The rollout of the new 'next stop' te reo audio messages on the City, Inner, Outer and Tāmaki Link bus services, follows the successful introduction of bilingual messages on Auckland's train network last year and even a report of a non-Māori commuter leaping to defend the announcements against attack.
Listen to an example of the new Link bus te reo Māori pānui. Source/Facebook.
Tipa Compain, AT's Māori policy and engagement manager, says, “If we can bring the importance of the language to more people in Auckland then that’s a big step in the right direction.”
Last year, he told Te Ao that “The policy of Auckland Council is that you see it, hear it, use it, learn it."
At the time, Compain said that, in addition to the city's trains and buses, the plan is to extend the reo Māori messages to Auckland's ferries “so that te reo is normalised and we’ll have a lot of Aucklanders and visitors to Auckland pronouncing our place names correctly.”
Te Ao first signalled in April that plans were underway to introduce te reo on the city's Link buses.
AT chief executive, Shane Ellison says the Link bus initiative is another step towards bringing te reo into the everyday lives of Aucklanders.
“By hearing te reo every day, I am hoping Aucklanders, and particularly our young people, will seek it out and understand that the reo makes Auckland unique.”
Aucklanders are hearing increasingly more te reo Māori on the city's transport network. (PopWaiata/Facebook)
Judging by the popularity of the reo Māori announcements on the city's trains, it's expected that the bus pānui will be equally well received.
“I witness quite often Māori youth mimic sentences, pre-schoolers listening with joy and enthusiasm, to the elderly kaumatua with smiles of gratefulness," an AT Māori adviser and train commuter told Te Ao.
AT's commitment is that "Māori language being seen, heard, spoken and learnt throughout the transport network."