Because good research needs good data

Keynote Lecture: Indigenous Sovereignty of Language Data - the Mãori example

This talk will begin by explaining significant considerations around the sovereignty of data and why it is important for indigenous people to obtain, and retain, the sovereignty of their data. Some international indigenous alliances and principles that seek to address these issues will be discussed. Finally, examples from personal research will be shared about how Mãori language data has, and continues to be, affected by sovereignty issues and the steps that we are taking to address and redress these issues.

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Te Taka Keegan

Te Taka Keegan is an Associate Professor in Computing, and Associate Dean Mãori for the Division of Health, Engineering, Computing & Science at the University of Waikato.


Te Taka has worked on a number of projects involving the Mãori language and technology. These include:

  • the Mãori Niupepa Collection, a collection of historic newspapers published primarily for a Mãori audience;
  • Te Kete Ipurangi, New Zealand's bilingual education portal;
  • the Microsoft keyboard, Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office in Mãori;
  • Moodle in Mãori;
  • Google Web Search in Mãori;
  • the Mãori macroniser.

In 2009 Te Taka spent 6 months with Google in Mountain View as a visiting scientist assisting with the Google Translator Toolkit for Mãori. Further work with Google led to Translate in Mãori.

Te Taka’s general research interests include traditional navigation, Mãori language technologies, indigenous language interfaces, and multi-lingual usability. His current research interests have focused on the use of te reo Mãori in a technological environment. 

For his significant work in producing human language technologies in Mãori language and education resources, Te Taka has been awarded prestigious prizes such as the 2013 University of Waikato's Mãori/Indigenous Excellence Award for Research, and the 2017 Prime Minister’s Supreme Award for Tertiary Teaching Excellence.

Visit Te Taka Keegan's Homepage