Peter-Lucas Jones

Ngāti Kahu, Te Rārawa, Ngāi Takoto and Te Aupōuri (Te Mātāwai Appointment)

Deputy Chair

Peter-Lucas, Deputy Chairman of Māori TV, has tribal affiliations to Ngāti Kahu, Te Rārawa, Ngāi Takoto and Te Aupōuri. He has a practical application of tikanga Māori and is a highly proficient speaker of te reo Māori. He is CEO of Te Hiku Media, the award-winning iwi broadcasting organisation and iwi innovation hub based in Kaitaia. He has led Te Hiku Media to create a suite of natural language processing (NLP) tools which enable the creation of new digital products and services that leverage te reo Māori speech recognition, speech to text system (audio transcription), text-to-speech (TTS), and other language tools.

The system represents the first time that automatic digital transcriptions have ever been available for te reo Māori, opening up a range of applications, from the transcription of archival audio recordings to the development of speech interfaces for computers. The speech to text system operates with a 10% error rate and the TTS (voice synthesis) algorithm is also a first for te reo Māori.

Peter-Lucas has a keen interest in data and ethics and led Te Hiku Media to develop the largest labelled and tagged Māori language corpus specifically created for Māori language NLP. He informed the development of the Kaitiakitanga Data Licence that Te Hiku Media use in strategic tech partnerships.

While recognising the importance of open source technology, Peter-Lucas is mindful that the majority of Tangata Whenua and other indigenous peoples may not have access to the resources that enable benefit from open source technologies. He understands Aotearoa’s marae and Māori communities and how many marae are at a digital disadvantage due to isolation. As a leader in iwi broadcasting, Peter-Lucas understands issues of digital exclusion and solutions associated with digital inclusion. When implementing digital inclusion strategies, he believes that both supply (infrastructure) and demand (digital literacy levels, environmental, training needs, ageing haukāinga marae population, rangatahi needs and socio-demographics) factors must be considered.

The proliferation of te reo Māori and Mātauranga Māori through content creation and distribution is key experience Peter-Lucas brings to the board. Through working closely with native speakers of te reo Māori, in the rohe of Te Hiku, Peter-Lucas has led the development of an iwi focussed digital platform for Māori language content management and live video streaming rangatahi events and haukāinga events in Te Taitokerau. Providing access to high-quality examples of te reo o ngā haukāinga o Te Hiku o Te Ika through regional broadcasting provides learners and second-language speakers the opportunity to model correct pronunciation, increase vocab comprehension and use, correct word-order and correct intonation of te reo Māori.

Peter-Lucas is also Chair of Te Whakaruruhau o Ngā Reo Irirangi Māori (The National Iwi Radio Network), the society whose objective is the advancement of Māori radio communication, development and operations. The Māori radio network consists of 20 iwi radio stations that serve the Māori population.

Peter-Lucas is also a board member of Te Punaha Matatini which is a Centre of Research Excellence hosted by the University of Auckland. Te Pūnaha Matatini is a novel and exciting collaboration that brings together experts from the academic research community, industry, and government to develop the methods and tools that transform data into knowledge, providing insight for businesses, government, and communities.