AWS Machine Learning Blog

Meet Aria, the first New Zealand English accented voice for Amazon Polly – includes limited te reo Māori support

We are excited to announce Aria, Amazon Polly’s first New Zealand English Neural text-to-speech (NTTS) voice. Similar to other Amazon Polly voices, Aria is developed as a voice that sounds bright, natural, and upbeat.

This new voice for Aotearoa (New Zealand in Māori) is uniquely Kiwi. It includes a number of common te reo Māori (indigenous language) phrases such as Kia ora (a Māori greeting), Ngā mihi (Yours sincerely), and Mā te wā (See you later). We added these phrases to reflect the growing use of te reo Māori in New Zealand. This also enables Polly customers to create a more familiar, local and engaging experience for their New Zealand customers.

Let’s hear Aria introduce herself:

And now let’s listen to some common use cases:

Amazon Polly works closely with Amazon Connect (an easy to use omnichannel cloud contact center that helps you provide superior customer service at a lower cost) on establishing languages and language varieties which allow customers to design an engaging and high-quality call experience. When building any new TTS voice, Polly collaborates closely with a set of innovative customers to specify the requirements. For Aria, we worked with Vodafone New Zealand on every stage of the voice production from selecting a suitable voice artist up to the final QA of the voice.

Mark Fitzgerald, Head of Digital Tools, at Vodafone New Zealand, says, “Vodafone is proud to launch Amazon Polly’s new Kiwi voice within our call center, which will soon answer millions of customer calls monthly. It is important we integrate a unique New Zealand identity into our customer service channels, including te reo Māori phrases and correct pronunciation. It’s been great to collaborate with AWS on developing this sophisticated new Kiwi voice, and enable other organizations in Aotearoa New Zealand to adopt it through Amazon Connect and Amazon Polly.”

Let’s listen to Aria demonstrating some Māori phrases with English:

And now let’s listen to a common use-case with a Māori greeting:

You can use Aria via the Amazon Polly console, the AWS Command Line Interface (AWS CLI), or AWS SDK. Her voice is available across all AWS Regions supporting NTTS. For more information, see What Is Amazon Polly? For the full list of available voices, see Amazon Polly Voices, or log in to the Amazon Polly console to try it out for yourself! To get more control over the speech output, try SSML tags and tailor the voice to your needs.

About the Author

Maciek Tegi is a Principal Audio Designer and a Product Manager for Polly Brand Voices. He has worked in professional capacity in the tech industry, movies, commercials and game localization. In 2013, he was the first audio engineer hired to the Alexa Text-To- Speech team. Maciek was involved in releasing 12 Alexa TTS voices across different countries, over 20 Polly voices, and 4 Alexa celebrity voices. Maciek is a triathlete, and an avid acoustic guitar player.