Ōkupu is a ‘game-changing’ Māori language translation smartphone application.
It is the first Māori online service that connects users with real translators as opposed to Bots and Machine Translators.
Ōkupu puts people seeking te reo Māori translations into touch with fluent Māori language speakers who are adept translators.
Aroha Turner is one of the co-founders of Ōkupu. In 2018 Aroha’s son returned from a Te Awamutu Wharekura with a Mahuru Māori merchandise pack, and she later received a text all in Māori which she couldn’t translate.
Concerned about bothering people with requests to help her translate the message she had an ‘aha moment’ which led her to create a prototype of a Māori language translation app which would help people like her.
She later fronted Mahuru Māori champion Paraone Gloyne with the concept who fell in love with the idea. Two years later Ōkupu will be launched on August 31, in time for use during September, to celebrate Mahuru Māori and Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori.
Māori media funding agency Te Māngai Pāho funded the app which was produced by Te Awamutu based te reo Māori resource company Ōkupu ki Tua Limited.
Ōkupu aims to build confidence in te reo, and increase the contexts where the language is used and to normalise its use in New Zealand society.