Fans at Wellington's Sky Stadium will now be welcomed in both English and Te Reo Māori.
From tomorrow, the venue will have bilingual safety and entry messaging playing over the loudspeakers as event goers make their way inside.
“It’s a fantastic project to be involved with and a step towards Wellington becoming a Te Reo Māori city by 2040,” said WellingtonNZ events and experiences general manager Warrick Dent.
The launch coinciding with Six60’s gig in the capital as part of their summer tour, but the bilingual announcements are set to be a mainstay.
“It’ll be starting with the Six60 concert, which is amazing in and of itself, but we’ll extend it out to the Hurricanes and New Zealand cricket, too,” said Wellington Stadium Trust's Rachel Taulelei.
Māori Language Commission chief executive Ngāhiwi Apanui said the launch is a great step forward in having Te Reo Māori as part of the country every day.
“The stadium is working towards a future where Te Reo Māori is normal, because that’s what the word ‘Māori’ means - normal,” he said.
Apanui also said launching the announcements at a Six60 gig was very fitting given the momentum the band has created for the language.
“I couldn’t ask for a more perfect band to kick it all off.”
Six60’s re-released version of their song Don’t Forget Your Roots / Kia Mau Ki Tō Ūkaipō, has been a hit since its release last year.
Band member Ji Fraser said it’s great to see Māori language being used more often.
“Te Reo Māori has been a part of our show and a part of our entire circuit for a little while now and to see it bleeding into venues that we're playing at is great,” he said.
Matiu Walters, the band’s lead singer, hopes to see more use of the language and culture within New Zealand’s mainstream.
“I want it to become normal, so that eventually we don't have to have conversations about how amazing it is that Māori is in songs. And I hope that it becomes commercially viable and that a Māori song becomes a number one somewhere else because we've had songs number one here in Spanish.”
The band’s Wellington performance is their second to last show of their Six60 Saturdays tour, which has seen them play Hawke’s Bay, Christchurch, Waitangi and Taranaki already, with a final concert in Hamilton.