Tūao Toa – Ata Marsh
Ata Marsh is passionate about te reo Māori and now she’s well known for speaking te reo at her workplace, The Warehouse in Newmarket, Auckland.
She is a customer service person and speaks Māori to all the customers and her bosses are right behind her.
She says, “I didn't know it was anything different. I just spoke te reo.”
Marsh has been working for The Warehouse at Newmarket for more than four years now.
If you go there, you'll no doubt hear her speaking te reo to customers, “I'm just so passionate about te reo. I really am. And it's a sense of belonging, and I just want to share with the customers what I know.”
While she has studied the language, her journey is on-going, and she says she shares what she's learnt with others, “I went away for a whole year to learn. They try and teach you three years in one year. I didn't quite get it.”
She's happy that her use of the language is supported by management at The Warehouse.
Management Pejman Okhavat says, “I've been inundated by phone calls and letters about Ata, and more importantly, about our customer services team. You know, some of the fabulous things that our customers say are things like: I can't wait to go to Newmarket store because I want to see Ata, she's such a wonderful asset to your organisation. Don't lose her!”
She wants to continue learning more te reo, however, her small efforts are having a huge impact.