As part of Māori Language Week, ANZ has launched a five-week te reo Māori course free of charge.

Māori Relationships Manager David Harrison says the bank wants to play a part in normalising the language.

“ANZ has got a lot of Māori staff and we've got a lot of Māori customers. New Zealand becomes ever more diverse and more vibrant. More people want to see te reo Māori integrated into everyday life.”

Harrison says last year they introduced te reo Māori as a language option on 350 of its ATMs. This year, the classes are a continuation of their Māori programme.

“This year for Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori we want to create another opportunity for the community to be able to engage with te reo Māori.”

Approximately 80 people attended the first te reo lesson. According to organiser Precious Clark, the tides have turned, and mainstream corporations are on board with te reo Māori.

“He miharo ka kawe tēnei kamupene a ANZ i te reo Māori nā te mea he kamupene nui. He tohu tēnā, ki Aotearoa - he mea motuhake te reo Māori mō Aotearoa.”