23 Jul 2012

Maori language week started on Monday

4:10 pm on 23 July 2012

Maori language week, which has been running for nearly 25 years, started on Monday.

This year's theme is Arohatia te reo (cherish the language).

Telecommunication company 2degrees has taken that step - launching what it says is the world's first smartphone with te reo built in.

Director Antony Royal says 2degrees, which is 10% owned by Maori, allows users to operate the phone in te reo rangatira.

He says this is just one of those things that signals te reo is a language of today, and is here to stay.

Maori language week runs until Sunday.