McDonald's reveal their first ever Te Reo menu

NZ 24/05/2018

A McDonald's franchise in Hastings, Hawke's Bay, is the first to offer a bilingual menu in both English and Te Reo. 

McDonald's Hawke's Bay operations manager Carmel Berghan can be seen holding the "country's first bilingual menu, written in Māori and English," says a Facebook post by Te Kaea. 

Jeremy McLeod, the director of Te Reo at Ngati Kahungunu, "got in touch with the Hastings franchisees and asked if they could bring some bilingual signage into the restaurant," McDonald's New Zealand spokesperson Simon Kenny told Newshub. 

McDonald's Hastings owners Marcus and Lynette Pohio agreed, he said, and so the "iwi developed the menus and some other signage like push/pull on doors and men's/women's toilets." 

"It's been well-received," Mr Kenny said. 

The men's bathroom sign at McDonald's Hastings reads 'Tāne' which is the Te Reo word for 'Man'. Photo credit: McDonald's New Zealand

Last year, Mr McLeod filmed a McDonald's Hastings employee, Jershon Tatana, speaking in Te Reo to customers who placed their order in the native language. The video was posted online by Mr McLeod, and it encouraged other Te Reo speakers to start placing their orders in Māori.  

There are other franchises in New Zealand now offering menus in both English and Te Reo. A café called The Corner in Urenui, northern Taranaki, has been duplicating its menus so they are offered in both languages.

The Government is divided on making it compulsory for students to learn Te Reo in schools. The Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta has said it's "just a matter of time". 

"A lot more New Zealanders - non-Māori - are speaking Te Reo because they know it's a way to engage with the Māori economy," she told The AM Show. 

There are plans to distribute the McDonald's menus in both Māori and English to other franchises in Hawke's Bay, according to Māori TV.