Smart devices like Amazon's Alexa are becoming more commonplace in Aotearoa but it seems they've still got a way to go before they can nail our reo.

A video shared to Te Reo Māori Launchpad, a Facebook page set up to promote the use of te reo Māori, shows an Alexa device struggling to pronounce one of the longest place names in the world, Taumatawhakatangihangakōauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronuku- pōkaiwhenuakitānatahu (a place name too long to fit on a single line on this website).

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Posted by Te Reo Māori Launchpad on Friday, 3 January 2020

The video, that was posted last week, has racked up thousands of views and some users were less than complimentary about Alexa's attempt.

"Go to bed Alexa. You're drunk," wrote one.


Others suggested that the fact the name was even attempted was a good start.

"It's actually pretty impressive," one woman wrote. "She gave it a crack which is more than what some people could do".

Another man said: "People are giving Alexa crap....but how many people in this country can actually pronounce it correctly? I'm just surprised that the option for her to even attempt it is there."

Alexa isn't the first to run into trouble trying to pronounce the 85-letter name, a location near Pōrangahau in southern Hawke's Bay, though many locals are proud of their ability to nail it everytime.

It hit the headlines in 2015 when a video of a British weatherman tackling the notoriously tricky Welsh place name Llanfair­pwllgwyngyll­gogery­chwyrn­drobwll­llan­tysilio­gogo­goch went viral.

Not to be outdone, TVNZ's Renee Wright busted out our longest place name on-air and Te Karere's Oriini Kaipara went one further, delivering it before then making a valiant attempt on the Welsh location.

The 85-letter version, which translates roughly into English as 'the hill on which Tamatea, the chief of great physical stature and renown, played a lament on his flute to the memory of his brother', isn't even the longest version of the name - with a longer version registering 105 letters.

For Maori language week Dr James Graham, principal advisor relationships, responsiveness and heritage at Hastings District Council demonstrates how to correctly pronounce Hawke's Bay Maori place names. Video Warren Buckland.