Mobile app latest step in Cook Islands Māori resurgence

A new mobile app in the Cook Islands is hoped to be another step in the quest to preserve Cook Islands Māori.

The Māori Dictionary app was launched last week by the Prime Minister, Henry Puna, who recalled a time when he would have been caned for speaking the native tongue at school.

But he says the language is now seeing a resurgence, with increased efforts to preserve Cook Islands Māori and get more people speaking the language.

The project was led by Anonga Tisam, which was awarded a grant to develop a database of Māori words two years ago.

The Cook Islands News says the dictionary is still in the initial stages of development, with content regularly being added by the Education Ministry and the Auckland University of Technology.

The developer hopes to eventually add the indigenous languages of many of the country's islands to the website.