11 September, 2017

Waikato-Tainui language option added to Westpac ATMs

From today the 70,000 tribal members of Waikato-Tainui iwi will see te Reo Waikato on automatic teller machines up and down the country in addition to the standard Māori language option.

It is the first time a bank has offered an ATM language option distinct to one iwi.

The roll-out begins this week in Waikato, as part of Te Wiki o te Reo Māori (Māori Language Week).

The dialect will be introduced on more than 90% of the bank’s ATMs, and be available to all customers.

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 Māori to its network of ATMs in celebration of Te Wiki o te Reo Māori in July 2016.

The te reo Māori option is proving to be popular, with customers choosing to use it on average 3300 times a month.

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

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 Māori more in their banking interactions."

The Westpac initiative also supports the tribe’s Tikanga Ora, Reo Ora strategy to increase the visibility of Reo Waikato and the fluency of its iwi members.

One challenge arose in trying to fit some of the Reo Waikato phrases on the ATM screens. Waikato-Tainui prefers the double-vowel convention, but the limited space on the ATM screen prompted a shift to use macrons instead. For example, ngeetehi, which means ’more than one’, was changed to ngētehi.

Customers can try out the new language option by selecting ‘Language’ and ‘Reo Waikato’ on ATMs.

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

The bank has previously translated two of its most popular Managing Your Money videos – about budgeting and raising financially literate children – into te reo Māori.

Waikato-Tainui, as part of the Iwi Chairs Forum, championed the passing of Te Pire mō Te Reo Māori / Māori Language Act 2016, which provided for more iwi leadership in revitalising the Māori language.