July 19, 2019
Reo adds zing to coffee stop
A Hamilton eatery is encourage customers to order their coffee and food in te reo Māori.
The District Cafe off Te Rapa Strait opposite Bunnings is the brainchild of 65-year Lesley Leevey, who started it after returning from a spell living in Australia.
Her son, broadcaster Patara Berryman, says his mother was taught te reo growing up but has tried to make up through sending her children to kura and taking Ataarangi and other lessons.
Once word got out there was a Māori-owned cafe in town and the Māori clientele started growing, making it bilingual seemed a logical step.
"No matter what demographic you come from, whether you are at the beginning stages of te reo or you are fluent, you can come in here and speak to some of our staff who are fluent as well, so by doing that we are nomalising te reo, normalising being Māori and having Māori in the workplace and the open environment rather than it being excluded to the school or excluded to the home," Mr Berryman says.
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