Key Points:

A Maori language version of the Google homepage and search interface has been launched, coinciding with Te Wiki o te Reo Maori.

Potaua Biasiny-Tule has worked on the demanding project translating nearly 9000 words into Maori.

"The Google in Maori project has been a labour of love and reflects the passion we have to providing digital platforms for Maori communities," he said.

"We also wanted to encourage Maori to consider work within the IT sector, especially rangatahi (young people)"

"Our goal was to bring together a committed team of language practitioners and leading Maori IT specialists to create a Maori language tool that could be used freely and that would be relevant to the digital world."

The group volunteered for the project, as part of the Google in Your Language initiative.

The call for Maori translators to work on the project began in 2001 when Craig Neville Manning, Google's Head of Engineering in New York, began coordinating with Dr. Te Taka Keegan.

By 2006 over 68 per cent of the translations had been completed, and the New Zealand Maori internet Society put out the call for more volunteers.

In June 2007, Potaua and Nikolasa Biasiny-Tule begin facilitating the translations and contacted Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Maori seeking their assistance. Wiha Te Raki Hawea Stevens then began work translating the full list of messages, and in April 2008 Dr Te Taka Keegan and Wareko Te Angina began the final work of verifying the translations and checking them for consistency.

"The translation of the Google homepage into Maori represents the culmination of a tremendous effort on the part of the Maori language volunteers, and has provided a wonderful new way for Maori speakers the world over to connect with information and the global community online," said Google spokesman Ashley Gorringe.