Dora Explores Te Reo Māori - Feature

By Mere McLean

Known to the world as Dora, it will be the first time ever that we hear her in the Māori language, brought to life by Te Ataakura Pewhairangi.

Voiced at Māori Television, translations were overseen by graduates from the Institute of Excellence in the Māori Language.  Pānia Papa was the overseer of the project who then approached Anaha Hiini of Te Arawa.

According to Anaha Hiini, “Firstly, I was lucky to be involved in this project.   Pānia approached me to translate the parts of Boots, the monkey.  Then I asked Pānia if she had someone to voice the character?”

“She said she was looking for someone to fill the position, so I took my son to Auckland to audition, based on his ability to read, sing and laugh.”

“After, Pānia thanked him and said that the part was his he then turned to me and asked if he got the part, which I knew that he did not listen to her.”

At aged 9, Te Rangitakaroro Hiini, along with his sisters Mai Io who is 8 and Arawa who is 6 years of age was also involved in the voicing of the characters in the show.  Te Rangitakaroro was the voice behind Dora's best friend and monkey, Boots.

The show has been translated into a National, standardised Māori so that the target audience of children aged one to five can understand.

The question was raised why Māori Television did not create its own unique show. 

Te Ataakura Pewhairangi believes, “When I first heard that Dora the show was going to be translated, I thought why doesn't Māori Television make their own show.”

“But I really thought about it, and noticed that children are wearing Dora clothes to bed, they have Dora blankets and pillow cases, they have her lunch boxes that they take to school, t-shirts of Dora, so I agree with what Māori Television has done to spread Dora to the masses of Māori families.”

Dora Mātātoa premieres tomorrow from 3:30pm.

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