MSL launches te reo Māori resources on World Metrology Day

News | 24 May 2024

We believe that metrology and education should be for everyone. That's why we teamed up with HUIA's expert translators to create te reo Māori versions of two of our most popular resources

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Every year on the 20th May, measurement scientists celebrate World Metrology Day (WMD). It is a commemoration of the signing of the 1875 Metre Convention, which established the global measurement infrastructure that we all rely on today. 2024’s celebrations are especially important, as it’s the first year that the day has been recognised by UNESCO(external link). 

UNESCO coordinates international cooperation in education, natural sciences, social sciences, culture, and communication and information. The work of the New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO is grounded in Te Tiriti o Waitangi principles and informed by Māori tikanga and values. And one of its five priority areas(external link) – Sustainable, Resilient and Regenerative Communities – has a focus on emphasising the transformative power of education in building a more sustainable future. 

For the Measurement Standards Laboratory, the alignment between WMD officially becoming a UNESCO International Day, and the Aotearoa-specific goals of the New Zealand National Commission, provided an unmissable opportunity.  

 And so, we’re proud to announce two new te reo Māori resources, developed in collaboration with HUIA(external link). 

  • The first is a translation of our popular Measurement in Daily Life(external link) interactive map. The map allows you to explore a typical city, clicking on icons representing each of the SI units, to see how and where measurement plays a role. You may be surprised to see just how fundamental it is to the workings of modern world. From the precise timing needed to support satellite navigation systems like GPS, to the temperature-controlled environments that keep our food safe, measurement is all around us. And now, thanks to the work of HUIA’s amazing team of translators, the map has a te reo Māori version. Start exploring it here(external link). 
  • The second resource is a translated version of the latest Concise Summary of the International System of Units, SI [PDF, 666 KB]. It introduces readers to metrology – the science of measurement – and presents te reo Māori terms for each of the seven base units that form the foundation of the SI. For example, the SI of unit of length [te reo Māori: roa] is the metre, m, or mita. For mass [papatipu], the unit is the kilogram, kg [manokaramu]. This summary is in PDF format and is free to download from the MSL website(external link).


MSL Director and Chief Scientist, Dr Annette Koo says, “World Metrology Day promotes the benefits of measurement science to a global audience, emphasising metrology's value for quality of life and environmental preservation, which aligns with UNESCO's goal of building a better world through science and education. As Aotearoa New Zealand’s National Measurement Institute, we are thrilled to launch these te reo Māori educational resources. We hope they find use in kura and whare wānanga around the motu.” 

Dr Dan Hikuroa, Culture Commissioner at the New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO, said “We are delighted to be celebrating the first official World Metrology Day here in Aotearoa, and we applaud the translation of key metrology information into te reo Māori. It recognises the importance of revitalising and promoting languages, and of linguistic diversity in sustainable development.”