Māori language NZ Post stamps reflect modern life

  • 07/09/2017
<<enter caption here>> on April 15, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. New Zealand Post revealed wide spread cost-cutting measures which may result in the closure of Post Shops which will be replaced by small access points in supermarkets and petrol stations across the country.
Photo credit: Getty

Māori words reflecting modern life feature on a new issue of New Zealand Post stamps, a move the Māori Language Commission has welcomed.

They include rorohiko (computer), waea pukoro (mobile phone), waka hiro (electric car) and pumahara (flash drive).

Māori language NZ Post stamps reflect modern life
Photo credit: New Zealand Post

There are explanations about how the words were developed - for example, rorohiko means "brain electricity".

Commission chief executive Ngahiwi Apanui says the stamp issue illustrates an important part of revitalising the Maori language.

That's expanding the range of words and terms available to deal with new concepts and things.

He said the Māori language is in its third wave of expansion, the first being when the first ancestors arrived and needed new words for everything from snow to kiwi.

"Then, on European contact, thousands more words were needed for things like iron, prayer books and alcohol," he said.

"Now, along with all languages, we are responding to the changes brought about by technology."

NZN