Te reo roll-out for Auckland's Link buses

By Kelvin McDonald
Last year te reo Māori annoucements were introduced on Auckland's trains, now the city's InnerLink buses are to follow suit. 

Auckland's InnerLink buses are set to offer next stop announcements in te reo Māori following the success of Māori language messages on the city's trains. 

Bilingual announcements were introduced on the city's train network in June last year and plans are now underway to extend the service to the InnerLink buses.

Aucklanders are hearing increasingly more te reo Māori on the city's transport network. (Credit: PopWaiata/Facebook)

Auckland Transport's Mark Hannan says, "The initial offering will be on all seven of the InnerLink bus services, with 'next stop' announcements being provided in both English and te reo Māori."

The transport service says it has taken care to ensure a high standard of language delivery, with the recording sessions overseen by AT's Māori Policy and Engagement Team.

After some initial teething problems with the audio quality of the on-board infotainment system, AT is about to trial the new service messages on the central city bus route, before eventually rolling them out across the InnerLink fleet. 

AT will trial the new te reo announcements on one of the InnerLink buses before rolling them out across the fleet. (Photo/Newshub)

Hannan says AT is working with NZ Bus, which operates the Link bus service, to install the announcements on one of the buses "so we can test they actually work." 

"Following what is anticipated to be the successful completion of this trial, the intention is to introduce these announcements across the InnerLink bus fleet," he says. 

AT hasn't said when bus commuters will begin hearing the te reo announcements but it's expected they will be positively received. 

AT's goal is to have "Māori language being seen, heard, spoken and learnt throughout the transport network." (Credit: AT/Facebook)

AT says Māori passengers onboard its trains have especially enjoyed the reo Māori pānui.

An AT Māori engagement adviser told Te Ao earlier this year, “I witness quite often Māori youth mimic sentences, pre-schoolers listening with joy and enthusiasm, to the elderly kaumatua with smiles of gratefulness."

The introduction of Māori language announcements on the city's transport network is in line with Auckland Council’s Māori Language Policy and part of AT's commitment to "Māori language being seen, heard, spoken and learnt throughout the transport network."