May 7, 2021

Maori News & Indigenous Views

Yes, you can write your cheques in te reo Maori!

2 min read

(by Alice Te Puni) Te reo Maori is an official language of New Zealand and cheques written in te reo are legal tender.

This is a reminder to local businesses from Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Taperenui a Whatonga principal Patrick Tangaere.

Mr Tangaere is speaking up after a cheque he wrote in Maori, to pay for a school trip lunch this week at the McDonalds Family Restaurant, was questioned because it was written in Maori.

It was the first time Mr Tangaere has been pulled up for writing his cheques in Maori.

It is a legal right I have practised for as long as I can remember. I have never before been made to feel inferior for it until this week, he said.

Mr Tangaere is determined to champion this issue and ensure awareness is raised about writing cheques in Maori throughout the district and country as well.

It is about everybody needing to know. Our language is official and it is legal.

Gisborne Lawyer Allan Hall said Maori was an official language of New Zealand and because of the Maori Language Act, and because a bank accepts cheques written in Maori, so too should a cheque recipient.

It is good for people in business to know this, said Mr Hall.

McDonalds Family Restaurant owner Leah Hepi said she had never come across a cheque that was written in Maori before and decided to err on the side of caution.

Ms Hepi rang the bank to confirm the authenticity of the cheque written in the Maori language.

The bank said a cheque written in Maori was OK and we accepted it, she told The Gisborne Herald.

But I had to make sure. I needed to know for myself because I have never struck this before.

I have learnt something new, she said.

5 thoughts on “Yes, you can write your cheques in te reo Maori!

  1. so is our language.. we can so walk into a shop and ask in Maori for anything you want or try and ask for in maori.. its not maori language speaking people fault shop keepers don’t understand or see it a importance to learn. we need more maori language people to do this. its not how much you know its how much you can contribute to the Survival of the language

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