To celebrate Te Wiki o te Reo Māori – Māori Language Week, Coastlands have installed te Reo Māori signage on their main entrances and exits, play area, customer service and food court.

Coastlands Board Member Takiri Cotterill, and granddaughter of the late Takiri Love who was an original Coastlands shareholder, said “It warms my heart to see our beautiful kupu Māori present in our mall. These key `Tohu Kupu Māori’ signs are welcoming, and set a peaceful tone for introducing the use of te Reo and Tikanga Māori in our community life here at Coastlands.

A survey by Statistics New Zealand found that just 11% of the population can speak te Reo Māori well. Coastlands Chief Executive, Richard Mansell, said installing some bilingual signage was a simple, effective way to take part in Te Wiki o te Reo Māori and help people become more confident reading and using the language.

Retailers at Coastlands including Commonsense and Countdown, already have bilingual signage acknowledging te Reo Māori as one of the three official languages of New Zealand, together with English and New Zealand sign language.

Coastlands management received advice on the te Reo used from Te Umuariki Mei, a passionate te Reo Māori advocate living on the Kāpiti Coast. The signage was endorsed by members of the Ngahina Trust, partners with Coastlands Shopping Town.

The words on the signs are accompanied by beautiful photographic images of native New Zealand flora and fauna, including blue cod or rāwaru in the Kāpiti Marine Reserve taken by specialist underwater photographer Darryl Torckler, and one of the many stunning sunsets over Kāpiti Coast residents and visitors enjoy.

The signs are for He wāhi Kai – Foodcourt, He wāhi Tākaro – Play area and Ratonga Kaihoko – Customer Services. The more familiar Nau mai haere mai – Welcome and Ka kite anō – See you again, are on the main entrances and exit doors.