NZME moves to include Māori macrons
From this week all websites and newspaper publications in the NZME group, which includes Waipa¯ Post, Te Awamutu Courier and our monthly magazines The Country and Driven, take a big step toward giving the Ma¯ ori language the recognition it deserves.
Around the group we have started using macrons in appropriate Māori words.
A macron is a line above a vowel to indicate it should be spoken as a long sound. The macron — known in Māori as tohuto¯ (or po¯tae — meaning “hat”) — indicates which part of the word to stress, aiding in correct pronunciation, and can change the meaning of a word to plural, or to something else entirely.
Waipa¯ Post and Te Awamutu Courier editor Dean Taylor welcomes the NZME move and says it has refocussed his team’s effort to use the language correctly.
Across the group it is accepted it is only right that we should make our best efforts to properly present te reo Ma¯ ori, given its status as an official language of New Zealand, and its deep-rooted importance to the people of this country.
Estimations are that around 150,000 New Zealanders speak conversational Māori. It is a living language and is a treasured part of our education system, from pre-schools through to tertiary institutions.
Māori words have also had a special influence on New Zealand English, with every Kiwi being familiar with a range of common terms and greetings, and with many birds and trees known only by their Ma¯ ori names.
This unique part of New Zealand culture is something of which we should all feel proud, and it’s something that we must protect.
We’ll be using resources recommended by the Ma¯ ori Language Commission plus the assistance of our in-house advisor, Stacey Morrison.
This will be a learning curve for editorial teams and it will take some time to achieve consistency and accuracy.
However, we are committed to doing better and we welcome readers’ feedback as we learn and improve.