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Westpac introduces Waikato-Tainui language option to ATMs nationwide

11 Sep 2017

Westpac has added a new language option to its ATMs across the country.

In addition to te reo Maori, te reo Waikato will be introduced to more than 90% of Westpac’s ATMs.This is the first time a bank has offered an ATM language distinct to one iwi, Waikato-Tainui, which has around 70,000 members.

The rollout begins this week in Waikato, as part of Te Wiki o te Reo Maori (Māori Language Week). Te Wiki o te Reo Maori begins today and runs until 17th September.  

Waikato-Tainui te reo advisor Pānia Papa says, “Maa te urunga o te reo o Waikato ki ngaa miihini tango moni e tautoko te whakamahinga o te reo i ia raa, i ia raa, i roto i te hapori, aa, maa reira e piki ai te mana o te reo.”

"Ko te wawata hoki, kia whaaia teenei tauira e ngeetehi atu peeke me ngaa raatou kiritaki kia nui ake ai te koorerotia o te reo i ngaa mahi peeke."

Translation: “Normalising te reo through ATM interactions lifts the status and value of the language by bringing it into everyday use in our communities."

“Hopefully this will prompt more banks and their customers to speak Maori more in their banking interactions."

Westpac NZ general manager of commercial, corporate and institutional banking, Karen Silk, says the opportunity to offer local dialects arose after the bank introduced te reo Maori to its network of ATMs in July 2016. On average, Westpac customers are using te reo Maori on ATMs 3300 times a month.

“Westpac is hugely supportive of the move to revitalise the Maori language and promote its use in everyday life,” says Silk.

“We’re thrilled our ATM technology has allowed us to add more language options and that our partnership with Waikato-Tainui has presented the opportunity to begin adding specific regional dialects”.

Westpac is talking to other iwi about introducing more language options in the future.

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