'It's about giving people a few tools' - Thousands sign up for free te reo classes offered by Christchurch restaurant

In a bid to help Te Reo Maori thrive, a Christchurch restaurant owner is offering free te reo classes to anyone keen to learn.

Fush encourages the use of Te Reo Maori on its premises, so owner Anton Matthews has taken his passion for the language to a whole new level. Source: 1 NEWS

Fush already encourages customers to use Te Reo Maori, but now Anton Matthews is taking his passion for the language to a whole new level.

He posted his offer of free lessons, every Monday for the next month on Facebook, and the interest in the idea has overwhelmed him.

The original plan was to hold the lessons in the restaurant, "I honestly thought we'd get somewhere between 10 and 20 (people)".

But the number of those interested has hit 2000 and is still climbing so he's had to find a school hall that will fit everybody in.

He told 1 NEWS: "It's about giving people a few tools and teach them a few things, you can integrate Te Reo Maori into your everyday life and it’s not that scary".

He won't rule out holding more classes, to fulfil his desire to preserve and normalise the language.