Businesses and public institutions across the country are embracing te reo Māori both internally and externally. Michael Neilson takes a look at the growing trend and the impact it is having on the language.
In 1984 working as a phone operator in the Post Office, Dame Rangimārie Naida Glavish greeted a customer with "kia ora". She was very nearly fired for it.
But in part because of the public debate that followed, some 35 years later the country's largest telecommunications company Spark not only encourages its staff to greet customers with "kia ora", but has an entire strategy devoted to te reo.
Businesses, schools, councils and all kinds of organisations across the country are embracing te reo in similar ways.
Last year, Air New Zealand launched its tohu reo badge, identifying Māori-speaking cabin crew, ANZ branches offer banking choices in te reo, and Microsoft this week launched a Māori version of the game Minecraft.
Last year the Wellington City Council launched its te reo policy, Te Tauihu, to make the language more visible across the city and make it a "te reo Māori capital" by 2040, and in Auckland you can hear train announcements in te reo.
Unitec Professor of Māori Research Dr Jenny Lee-Morgan says all of these initiatives are helping normalise te reo.
"All of these initiatives are increasing the ecosystem, or safe spaces to speak te reo."
Such initiatives also encouraged those who were on the fence, or even against te reo, Lee-Morgan says.
"These organisations are doing it both internally - for staff and to make more inclusive, diverse work environments, but also externally with the public, which is encouraging and helping to normalise te reo."
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It was important businesses and organisations incorporated te reo for the right reasons, were cautious about appropriation and were aware of tikanga, Lee-Morgan said.
"The language is not separate from the culture, so if you are going to incorporate te reo into a workplace it needs to be genuine and work alongside cultural practices."
Ways to do this included engaging with Māori communities and groups in the area in meaningful ways.
Spark Māori strategy lead Lisa Paraku (Ngāti Tamaterā) said their approach was developed in close consultation with Māori communities across the country.
"We want it to be genuine and authentic."
This meant a range of initiatives that not only supported staff in their reo and tikanga training, but added to the wider goal of revitalising te reo in New Zealand.
Internally the company provided reo and tikanga training for staff. They even had their own waiata and haka whakamana (uplifting haka) for events.
Externally they developed the free Kupu app, where users could snap photos of objects and have them translated into te reo. There had been more than five million translations since its launch last year.
"Our people are hungry for te reo, and we want to do what we can with our expertise. If every organisation did that we as country would be a better place," Paraku said.
Smaller businesses are also seizing the opportunities, including Christchurch restaurant FUSH where customers are served by bilingual staff and can even join public te reo classes.
Anton Matthews (Te Rarawa, Te Aupōuri), who owns and operates the shop with wife Jess, said it was all part of normalising te reo.
"Me and my whānau speak te reo, so for us it is quite normal. In the business it is continuing that, getting more of middle New Zealand to be proud of te reo, who we are as a culture."
He encouraged all businesses to take up the challenge.
"But it needs to be authentic, like anything in business, otherwise customers will see right through it."
Wellington deputy mayor Jill Day - the first person with Māori heritage to hold the position - has been a driving force behind her city's reo strategy Te Tauihu.
Introduced last year, their goal was to become a "te reo capital" by 2040.
"For me that would mean people feeling comfortable speaking te reo anywhere in the city, and for our environment to reflect and promote that."
Externally the council was increasing bilingual signage, running free reo classes in libraries, and supporting events like Matariki and Te Matatini kapahaka festival.
Internally te reo and tikanga classes were available to many staff and councillors.
Scotty Morrison has just released his latest te reo book, Māori at Work, which came out of working with many of New Zealand's major companies - including his own employer TVNZ - on developing strategies on reo and tikanga (protocol).
"There are companies that go ad hoc, and make mistakes, but there is progress, and importantly more and more CEOs, so from the top, are getting on board with the kaupapa."
Dame Rangimārie Naida Glavish said New Zealand had come a long way since her "kia ora" debacle, but she cautioned businesses that embraced te reo to be "genuine and sincere".
For most of her life she went by her Croatian heritage name Naida, because people "mangled" her Māori first name.
"Recently I was at a hui in Hastings, and there were over a thousand fluent speakers in the same room. With all the reo, kāranga, mihi, it was like a paradise for me.
"So yes, we have come a long way, but there is still a long way to go."