The Maori New Year is increasing in cultural prominence each year, and some say it’s only a matter of time before it becomes an official holiday. Here’s how some Kiwi businesses market Matariki this year.
Spark launched its Matariki content a month ago with an ad by Colenso BBDO.
Entirely in te reo Māori, the video depicts a father telling his son the story of the Matariki constellations which are arranged using glow-in-the-dark stars on the roof of the bedroom. The video ends with the message, ‘Some stories last a lifetime’.
Actors Scotty and Hawaiki Morrison are fluent in te reo and Māori musician Montell Pinney provides the backing soundtrack.
Star sticker packs created for the video were also given away to competition winners who had described their favourite Matariki star on Spark’s Facebook.
The video builds on the company’s 360 degree Matariki image from its 2017 campaign which explained how to find the constellation in the night sky.
Spark business manager, Lisa Paraku, says Spark was presented with a number of different ideas to bring Matariki idea to life but chose video so they could share the story as clearly as possible.
“An important aspect was ensuring that this was culturally sensitive and relevant, so we engaged the help of Dr Rangi Matamua for background. Customers and our communities have had a universally positive reaction to the video.”
Paraku says Matariki is not the only Māori tradition Spark has started to include in its workplace culture, and there are plans to continue the trend.
“It would be wonderful to Matariki to be acknowledged in a fitting way by our people and organisations. Matariki has a sense of excitement for the future and respectful remembrance and is significant to us here in Aotearoa,” she says.
In 2017, ANZ launched a video of staff member Courtney Marsden sharing her thoughts on the bank’s Matariki celebrations, a formula they’ve updated for 2018.
This year’s video shows Tauranga-based ANZ staff member Lesleigh Ricardi talking about what Matariki means to her and how proud she is to be able to bring her whole self to work.
Ricardi is a member of ANZ’s Māori and Pasifika Staff Group and is actively involved in brainstorming ways to increase Māori cultural awareness within the bank.
With nearly 200 members in ANZ’s Māori and Pasifika Staff Group (MPI), cultural inclusion and celebration has become a big part of the bank’s workplace policies.
Felicity Evans, ANZ general manager – talent and culture, says they are proud to celebrate not just Matariki but other Māori traditions.
“Over the years it has been wonderful to see the interest in te reo Māori from leaders within the bank. We hope to see the inclusion of te reo Māori continue to rise.”
The Dominion Post ran a teo reo Māori masthead.
The changeup to the masthead was reported online in an article by The Dominion Post editor Eric Janssen titled ‘Together we stand: why The Dominion Post has a te reo Māori masthead’.
He explained the change coincided with the launch of the Wellington City Council Te Reo Māori policy and the start of Matariki.
It ran for three weeks finishing 7 July, “with options beyond that being considered”.
Coco’s Cantina on K Rd got into the spirit of Matariki with a celebration dinner as part of Auckland’s Matariki Festival.
The ticketed event on 9 July included a three-course Māori and Italian-inspired meal and guest speakers Pita Turei and Te Aroha Morehu sharing their stories of Matariki.
Damaris Coulter, who owns Coco’s along with sister Renee Coutler, says being Māori themselves and running Coco’s as a Māori dynamic business meant that it was natural to share Matariki celebrations in the restaurant. She has also recently completed a Māori business accelerator course which brought the idea front-of-mind.
“It felt that the stars were aligned in many ways for us (and not just the Māori New Year stars). Renee and I have been navigating our way through some business changes and for us, Matariki this year marked the end of some heavy trench digging and the beginning of new growth.”
Coulter says it now feels intuitive to hold Matariki celebrations as a way of celebrating and connecting with the restaurants customers and whānau.
“By sharing our culture through stories, food and discussions, we are able to showcase how we apply our culture in everyday and our business. People who may not usually be in this environment have the opportunity to be part of an inclusive celebration.”
This story originally appeared on StopPress.