YouTube craze meets Te Reo Māori

By Ripeka Timutimu

A special story of a whānau mixing te reo Māori with the latest Youtube phenomenon. If you don't know what 'Unboxing' is, perhaps you've been hiding in that box of yours for too long. Children worldwide are clocking up millions of views of the videos which now have a distinctly Māori flavour.

Millions of clicks are being made by little hands around the world on 'unboxing' videos. Now the Haapu family of Wellington are joining the craze, but with a Māori language focus.

Māori language unboxing creator Thomas Haapu says, “I made the videos for our daughter because she loves watching them on YouTube. However, there aren't any in Māori.

Thomas and his wife Brylee spent hours creating the clips from scratch. It's a resource for the whole family.

“I'm a second language learner and doing this with our whānau has been quite helpful for me and so I write the scripts in English and then our big girl translates them for me,” says Brylee.

Thomas says, “As a family, we are committed to speaking te reo all the time. At school, at home or out in the world.”

The clips have been viewed around the world in countries including America, Japan, and even Iraq.

Brylee says, “It wasn't as easy as I thought it would be, and it would be great to get some funding to put them out more often and that’s what we're looking into now.”

It would be funding well spent to get more clips and more clicks on this Māori language resource.