Octave 7 ReoAko

  • Pou Auaha / Creative Director
    Tom de Groen
  • Ngā Kaimahi / Team Members
    Mike Higham, Mike Brough, Pat Horsley, Dan Brosnan, Ethan Attewell, Germaine Tang, David Read
  • Kaitautoko / Contributors
    Larry Parr, Jess Tawhiri, Juneea Amohia Silbery
  • Client
    Octave, Te Māngai Pāho
Judge's comments:

Beautifully simple and hugely impactful. The Judges were so happy to award gold to a tool like this. It’s very rare to see a 3rd party plugin so well considered and authentic. It’s exciting to see that it isn’t a fixed mahi, but built to grow and improve over time.


The opportunity

Most Kiwi know some kupu Māori — but how might we increase this vocabulary?

The goal of ReoAko is to contribute to the revitalisation of te reo Māori by making it easier for organisations to embed te reo Māori on their websites.

A collaboration between Te Papa and Octave led us to develop an elegant interface that brought te reo Māori to life on the digital exhibition labels. This design planted the seed for ReoAko.

An overwhelmingly positive response to how te reo Māori was integrated into the exhibition reassured us that this was something that everyone could use and benefit from. With wider use care must be taken to ensure the ongoing integrity of te reo Māori and its kaitiakitanga by iwi and Māori. With the blessing of Te Papa, a partnership was formed with Te Māngai Pāho to develop the ReoAko plug-in product.

The approach

Bringing the interface to life as a plug-in presented usability, accessibility and technical hurdles which were overcome through thorough testing and design and technical iteration.

Through our beta testing programme, early adopters informed refinements to the product and created a comprehensive view of their product onboarding and support needs.

With the support of appropriate language expertise, we developed a user guide and support plan for website managers and editors. This guidance created a seamless onboarding process and helps editors choose the right te reo Māori words to use on their websites.

Great care is taken to develop, maintain and expand our library of kupu. Language experts carefully curate words and phrases to ensure their use can be clearly understood by users while providing enough flexibility to work with the needs of organisations’ cultural and language strategies.
Under the hood, the ReoAko interface meets the New Zealand Government accessibility standards, making sure te reo Māori is accessible to all. Comprehensive documentation is available to help developers get ReoAko operational with a minimum amount of effort.

ReoAko inherits your website’s fonts and the interface can be visually customised to fit your website by editing its CSS. The ReoAko API can be used by almost all content management systems. ReoAko supports plug-ins for Wagtail, Silverstripe, Drupal and Contentful. We welcome the development of plug-ins for other content management systems.

The outcome

The ReoAko plug-in features a library of expertly translated Māori kupu/words and audio that can be added to most content-managed websites. Website managers, who are not fluent in te reo Māori, can select words to be translated in their content management system. ReoAko will then display the te reo Māori translation on your website along with an easy-to-use popup interface through which readers can access translations and pronunciation content.

ReoAko gives organisations a part to play in the revitalisation of te reo Māori in Aotearoa New Zealand by infusing online content with kupu Māori. By weaving kupu Māori into English content, non-fluent readers are given the opportunity to learn new te reo Māori words in context, which makes new words easier to understand.