INDEPENDENT NEWS

World's first Māori speaking dolls for children launched

Published: Thu 3 Nov 2016 11:53 AM
MEDIA RELEASE
02 November 2016
World's first Māori speaking dolls for children launched
Pipi Mā™ the world's first Māori speaking dolls for children was launched on November 1 2016 by a young couple who realised there was a lack of toys and products for their daughters whose first language is Te Reo Māori.
Pipi Mā™ creators, Hōhepa Tuahine and Kristin Ross, have both done postgraduate studies in and around te reo and saw the opportunity to create a range of dolls at a time when more young families are bringing their children up speaking Māori than ever before.
Ross says, "We saw how our eldest daughter reacted to an Elsa (from Disney's Frozen), speaking doll and thought, ha! We need a Māori speaking doll that does the same thing!”
There are four dolls that belong to Pipi Mā™. They are Pipi, Hura, Tītoki and Pītau Pōtiki. Each doll has its own unique features and set of dialogue designed to encourage conversation and Māori language use with children.
Tuahine says, "Pipi Mā™ takes the best of pop-culture and Māori culture to create a product that imbeds the idea and behaviour into our children that the Māori language is cool".
Pipi Mā™ is a new and exciting way to make the Māori language popular amongst children. It provides them with a doll that speaks their language and looks like them.
Noted Māori language advocate and researcher Kahurangi Maxwell says there is strong and growing demand for toys and tools that support families’ efforts to speak Māori. Maxwell's own research explored the raising of children with te reo Māori as a first language and says that the Pipi Mā™ dolls will encourage the normalisation of the language.
"Parents raising children in te reo Māori are crying out for such toys and resources to support their efforts in the home and kura but in a way that is fun and much like many of the other toys out in the market. Pipi Mā™ will change the way kids learn, speak and understand te reo and will help families to feel more confident in their everyday use of the language".
Pipi Mā™ dolls retail at $69.99 with free shipping anywhere in New Zealand. Pipi Mā™ will be sold online at www.pipima.co.nz with pre-orders becoming available at 9:00am on November 08 2016.
For more information on Pipi Mā™
www.pipima.co.nz
Facebook/PipiMāNz
ENDS

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