Indigenous | Māori Language Week

Reo Māori grows as businesses collaborate to strengthen everyday use

Some of the biggest companies in Aotearoa are continuing to show support for te reo Māori during this year’s Wiki o te reo Māori, joining a network founded by Te Taura Whiri i te reo Māori.

Local companies such as Araraurangi Air New Zealand, Rangiata Sky TV, Wellington Regional Stadium, Foodstuffs NZ and Te Puna Stuff, and internationally owned companies such as McDonald’s NZ, Countdown, Domino’s Pizza, Bunnings are among the founding members of Te Hononga Pakihi Reo Māori, launched earlier this week.

Taura Whiri chief executive Ngahiwi Apanui says the idea came about after many years of businesses showing support for the Māori Language Week and incorporating reo Māori into their operations. The intention of the network is to offer support and provide an “online house of learning” where ideas and best practices can be shared.

“Mai i ngā Wiki o te reo Māori i ngā tau kua tahā ake he nui ngā pakihi i hono mai ai ki te kaupapa i pātai mai ai me pēhea e whakarahi ai te reo i roto i a rātou mahi. Nā reira i puta te whakaaro ki a mātou i tēnei tau ki te karanga ki ngā kamupene katoa e ngākaunui ana ki te reo Māori kia hono mai kia āhei mātou katoa ki te hono, ki te kōrero i ngā āhuatanga e pā ana ki te reo Māori, hei reo mā te katoa, hei reo hoki i roto i a Aotearoa whānui, hei reo hoki i roto i ngā pakihi.”

(In previous Māori Language Weeks we have had many businesses show their support and they’ve often asked how they could expand the use of reo further. So we decided to put the call out to all businesses who want to support our reo to come on board where we can collaborate and share ideas around te reo Māori in everyday situations so it can be shared by everyone, become a common language across the country and become a common language in business.)

Bilingual signs at McDonald’s

“Me taku mihi anō ki te hunga e kaha nei ki te haere ki [Makitanara], ana koinei hoki te hua. Kua hono mai nei rātou kia mātou anā, kua reo rua a rātou tohu i roto i a rātou whare kai. Me pēnā ka tika!”

(I must also acknowledge the many Māori who eat at McDonald’s - this is a positive result of that. It has come on board with us, and it also has bilingual signs inside its restaurants. And so they should be!)

Apanui says the network is also an acknowledgement of the likes of Air New Zealand, which has used bilingual messages on their flights for many years. The national carrier also provided a chartered flight completely in te reo Māori ahead of this year’s Te Matatini festival in Auckland. Continuing to promote te reo Māori in their businesses is the easiest way to differentiate themselves as uniquely Aotearoa, he adds.

“Mā te reo Māori e Aotearoa ai ngā pakihi nei. Koirā te tino take e hono mai ai rātou, kia tino Māori ai, kia tino tangata whenua ai rātou ki tēnei whenua.”

(Te reo Māori is the way to being a genuine New Zealand company. That is the biggest reason they have come on board, to support Māori and to be a genuine presence in this country.)

Initiatives developed by founding members of Te Hononga Pakihi Reo Māori also include Countdown offering a reo Māori option at self-checkout, other retail chains translating instore signage and sports stadiums having bilingual announcements.

The founding member businesses are:

Araraurangi | Air New Zealand, Stuff Group Te Puna, McDonald’s NZ, Rangiata | Sky TV, Foodstuffs NZ, Countdown, GO Media, Domino’s Pizza, Wellington Regional Stadium Trust, Bunnings, For Purpose, and ATA

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