We're often told that there's real currency in te reo Māori, but a multi-national software company has taken that to another level by offering Māori speakers money to record their voices.

Lionbridge, a company based in the US, has been in contact with Māori speakers, with the intention to contract Māori to help build new translation software.

Peter Lucas Jones of Te Hiku Media is issuing a warning to people thinking about participating in the scheme.

“Kia mōhio mai tātou, kāhore rātou e whakaaro ana mō ngā tikanga Māori, kāhore rātou e whakaaro ana mō tēnā mea te katiakitanga, kāhore rātou e whakaaro ana mō te tapu me te mana o te reo Māori.

“Kaua rawa tātou e wareware i patua ō tatou nei mātua, ō tātou nei tūpuna mō te kōrero Māori. Huri mai, kua hiahia te Pākehā te kapo mai te mana o te reo hei hoko mai ki a tātou.”

Jones adds that for over 30 years, historical data has been stored and protected in iwi radio and television archives.

“Pēnā e titiro ana tātou ki ngā piringa kōrero o ngā reo irirangi, kī pai i ngā kōrero tuku iho. Engari mehemea e titiro ana tātou ki ngā kamupene Pākehā, ngā kamupene Amerikano, e hiahia nei ki te mahi i ēnei mahi – e hiahia ana rātou ki te mahi i ēnei mahi i waho atu i ngā hapori Māori.”

Te Karere sought comment from Lionbridge but we received no response.

LIKE