Simon Collins is the Herald’s social issues reporter.

Maori Language Week 2016: Facebook actively working with Māori Language Commission

Ngahiwi Apanui was "on the verge of signing an agreement with Facebook to allow them to use our online dictionary to develop a translation engine on Facebook". Photo /  Ben Fraser
Ngahiwi Apanui was "on the verge of signing an agreement with Facebook to allow them to use our online dictionary to develop a translation engine on Facebook". Photo / Ben Fraser

Facebook has confirmed that it is working with the Māori Language Commission on "the appropriate use of Māori language" on its platform.

"Māori language is considered a taonga (treasure) and it is only right that Facebook respects the importance of the language by working with experts like the Māori Language Commission to ensure that any action taken around translation is done appropriately and through the right channels," said Facebook head of policy for Australia and New Zealand Mia Garlick.

She was responding to a statement by Māori Language Commission chief executive Ngahiwi Apanui that he was "on the verge of signing an agreement with Facebook to allow them to use our online dictionary to develop a translation engine on Facebook".

Ms Garlick said Facebook was "actively working with the Māori Language Commission, helping to promote Māori Language Week via the platform and are in discussions around the appropriate use of Māori language."

"Many people already share Māori language on Facebook and we are committed to doing more to support engagement in Māori language on our services," she said.

"People can help us translate the site by visiting the Translate Facebook app and contributing translations or voting on translations. We hope to have more to share about on this at a future date."

- NZ Herald

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