Tussock staff member and first year Bachelor of Communications student Pania
Michelle Te Ohaere getting ready for körero kawhe.


Körero kawhe – Mäori coffee culture encouraged


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University staff and students are being encouraged to order their coffee in Mäori, with pamphlets published and distributed on all three campuses carrying the terms in English and Mäori and an online site where the terms can be listened to for correct pronunciation.

The promotion is for Te Wiki o Te Reo Mäori (Mäori Language Week), which started today. Until Friday, customers ordering their coffee in Mäori between 10am and10.30am will receive a complimentary fortune cookie for their efforts – containing a message in Mäori and English.

At Tussock, the Wellington campus cafe, staff have been training to say “Kia ora, he aha mäu” in place of “Hi, what can I get you”, to encourage customers to order their coffee in the Mäori language.

Mäori Communications Manager Lana Simmons-Donaldson says staff throughout the University worked with members of Matua Reo Kaupapa – the University’s Mäori Language Advisory Group led by Professor of Mäori Language Taiarahia Black to develop the cards.

"Ordering coffee has not been done quite like this before," Mrs Simmons-Donaldson says. "Only a handful of the terms we are suggesting were found in dictionaries. It was quite cool to have found a word for cappuccino – kaputino – and relatively straightforward to use transliteration for terms like mocha – moka – and latte – räte. Other terms created a lot of discussion among the group.”

Feedback from management, staff and students has so far been positive. “While the cards aren’t going to be everyone’s kaputï [cup of tea], we are making the idea available as widely as possible and have created sound files on our website for anyone who wants to give it a go.”

“Tussock staff and management have been really supportive of this initiative, and we have already started to talk about doing more next year.” Manawatu and Albany coffee outlets are also part of körero kawhe [coffee chat]."

To listen and learn how to order your coffee in Mäori or find out about other Mäori Language Week activities at Massey, visit the Te Wiki o Te Reo Mäori.

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