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Tuesday, 26 March 2019 03:51 am

Te Reo introduction courses for businesses fill up quickly

Mar 23rd, 2018 | By | Category: Editor's Picks, Front Page Layout, Latest News

One of the Te Reo language resources the Māori Language Commission offers.

A new Te Reo language course for business is fully-booked, the Wellington Chamber of Commerce says.

The Chamber is running a raft of free Te Reo lessons, delivered by Whitireia New Zealand.

Wellington Chamber of Commerce chief executive John Milford says it aims to help enhance members’ capabilities.

The Chambers’ connections to Wellington’s educational entities will help delivering this program and potential future ones, Milford says.

“We’re always very keen to show the relationship between educators and business, and act as a link.

“If our members want it, and we think there’s a demand, then we will make sure we are out there and delivering it.

“I can see us doing this on an ongoing basis.”

Milford says Te Reo gives New Zealand business a cultural edge when competing internationally.

“I think the business community does recognise that, and becoming more attuned.

“Māori play a significant role in the commercial environment now in New Zealand, and so appropriately they should be recognised through their language and culture.”

The Māori Language Commission has welcomed the move, saying using Te Reo Māori has more benefits than not using it.

Spokesperson Colin Feslier says there is a wider purpose for Te Reo, aside from being a conversational language.

There is increasing interest in the language in workplaces, and companies like Air New Zealand and Countdown taking up the use of Te Reo in their public signage, Feslier says.

“We of course promote Te Reo Māori’s use everywhere.

“The use of the Māori language identifies us all as New Zealanders,” Feslier says.

“Adding Māori language to your business adds something, it doesn’t take anything away, and it also adds an identification with New Zealand.

“The visibility of Māori language is really important, and businesses can help a lot with that.”

Feslier says Māori language used in branding makes a strong statement on the origin of the product.

“It effects peoples’ personal brands too, if you give a speech and you begin in Māori, even if you don’t continue in Māori, you’re saying, you know, ‘Hey, this is somebody from New Zealand here.’”

The course will include an introduction to basic Te Reo, greetings, engagement protocols, useful phrases, simple songs.

Exclusive to Wellington Chamber of Commerce members, it started on March 15 and runs until May 17.

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