Topics: Māori Language Week, Tainui, Te Reo Māori

McDs serves a reo happy meal

By Mānia Clarke
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

McDonald's employee Janine Eru-Taueki will be serving happy meals again after receiving an apology from her Hamilton manager for not allowing her to speak Māori.  

She says she's also glad that all employees can now speak Māori since speaking out about her dilemma this week.

Eru-Taueki feels vindicated in her efforts to celebrate Māori Language Week.

“I feel at peace about it now,” she says, “They're allowing me and all Māori-speaking employees to speak Māori to staff and customers.  I'm absolutely stoked.”

This week Eru-Taueki spoke out about not being allowed to speak Māori in the restaurant.  She admits it wasn't an easy decision.

“I thought I might lose my job, but because they've changed their policy I still have a job.”

Since then McDonald's New Zealand has reviewed its policy to allow all employees to speak all three official languages of New Zealand including Māori, English and Sign Language.

Today her managers wanted to meet to offer an apology and support.

“I'm so stoked that I can go to work and speak Māori without getting yelled at, no one can tell me not to speak Māori.”

Despite nationwide attention to the issue, we were not permitted by McDonalds New Zealand to film the apology meeting as the Hamilton operations manager did not want to be shown on camera.

McDonald's Hamilton stores are planning to offer a bilingual menu to customers.