'Kia ora, Dunedin Hospital'

Wakari Hospital staff (back from left) Gala Hesson, Sam Mangai, Nikolas Papahadjis, (front, from...
Wakari Hospital staff (back from left) Gala Hesson, Sam Mangai, Nikolas Papahadjis, (front, from left) Vivienne Allen-Kelly, Jenny Dodds, Nigel Copson, Nicola Mutch and Kate Roff hold signs introducing themselves in te reo Maori to promote Maori Language Week at the hospital yesterday. PHOTO: GERARD O'BRIEN
Dunedin Hospital has taken a leaf out of Shortland Street's book and people ringing the hospital this week can expect to be greeted with the words "Kia ora, Dunedin Hospital''.

The greeting, along with other Maori words and phrases such as "morena'' and "ka kite ano'', are likely to be heard more often this week as businesses, schools, organisations and individuals celebrate New Zealand's indigenous language during the 42nd annual Maori Language Week.

Southern District Health Board executive director of Maori health Pania Coote said people using cafes at the hospital would be encouraged to try ordering in Maori with the assistance of booklets on how to order your kawhe (coffee).

Dunedin, Wakari and Southland Hospitals would all have displays promoting te reo Maori in the foyers.

The Maori greeting "kia ora'' is the theme of this year's event.

Yesterday, ANZ Bank introduced te reo Maori as a language option on its ATMs.

ANZ managing director of retail and business banking Antonia Watson said she hoped the initiative would give people another chance to use Maori in daily life.

A Dunedin City Council spokeswoman said call centre staff had been encouraged to use Maori during calls and the council waiata group would perform at Toitu Otago Settlers Museum today.

Further afield, a police car with a koru and the Maori word for police - pirihimana - emblazoned on it took to Counties Manukau streets for the first time yesterday.

Maori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell challenged people to "use Maori Language Week to make a change in your life that lasts well beyond the week''.

"Whatever one's fluency, the important thing is our willingness to support and breathe life into our indigenous language.''


Add a Comment