The brief: Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori, or the Māori Language Commission, is a Government organisation set up to promote the use of Māori as a living language and as an ordinary means of communication in New Zealand.

They required a new website for their growing library of research and resources. It had to be built on the Common Web Platform (CWP), allow for easy content editing and be bilingual between Māori & English.


A place for learning

We provided Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori with a reliable SilverStripe solution that was specifically built to cater to their large amount of multimedia and research material. Features include an advanced search module to easily locate information, able to search specific sections of the site, filter by file type (PDF or Word Document for instance), and sort the results by customisable criteria.

Tablet and Phone

A wealth of information

The site allows moderators to add audio and video content to their growing online library, as well as upload and catalogue research documents. Somar also included a dynamic news module that integrates with social media such as Facebook and Twitter for communicating with a wider audience.

Up to (Government) standard

The Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori website converged five websites into one, creating a central hub for the organisation which helped reduce maintenance costs and strengthen the brand. The site is fully bi-lingual, allowing users to switch between Māori and English at any time. It also meets WCAG standards that are required for a Government website, and was successfully launched in time for Māori Language Week 2015.

Second Stripe

Overcoming challenges

Every project has issues and roadblocks. Somar roll with the punches and learn from everything we do:

Multi-language content

The Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori website needed to be bilingual, with full support for Māori and English content. Somar created a site that allows the user to switch between the two languages from any page, and lets site administrators edit content for both languages via the SilverStripe CMS. Careful consideration was also applied to the choice of typefaces, to ensure they allowed for Māori macrons and characters.

One site to replace five

Part of the initial brief was to amalgamate five different websites, for different sub-organisations with different content, under one website and one brand. Due to the age of some of these sites, and them sitting with different hosting companies, Somar had to work with multiple contacts to migrate and redirect site addresses.

Respect for culture

Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori’s mandate is to support and encourage Māori language and culture; this played a large part in their procurement process. At Somar we have a deep respect for local cultures including Māori and Pasifika, as we’ve proven on a number of branding and design projects. Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori were extremely impressed with the outcome and how we handled the cultural sensitivities of the project.

Issues with content structure

Due to the amalgamation of five different websites into one, the site structure required an overhaul. Somar helped the client re-order their information architecture (IA) and create a more streamlined site, removing pages of superfluous content.