Spreading te reo Māori like peanut butter

By Rukuwai Tipene-Allen, Ruth Smith

Pics Peanut Butter have translated the labelling of some of their product to te reo Māori and are donating two dollars to the Kōhanga Reo National Trust if consumers return four clean empty jars to their factory.

Pics Global Marketing Manager Nikki Neate says, “For me, it was an idea that came from- I grew up in 1970's New Zealand and didn't speak very much te reo and I've come back with two small children who speak an awful lot of it and have really embraced it as part of their everyday use.  That was the original idea."

They have collaborated with the Kōhanga Reo National Trust and are donating two dollars to them for every four jars returned in hopes of supporting the revitalisation of the language.

Kōhanga Reo National Trust CEO Kararaina Cribb says, “We support this idea, they're considering our children and families and te reo is being brought into the home.  Also, the purpose is for the benefit of te reo.”

"I just love the fact that what we're trying to do is just embrace the everyday use and so to get responses back on our Facebook and via email in te reo, that's... wow, blown away," says Neate.

The company produces more than $50mil worth of peanut, cashew and almond butter a year.  So far, they've produced 100,000 jars with te reo labelling and are considering rolling it out on a global scale.

"Our job is to spread the love of peanut butter so if we can do a little bit to spread the love of te reo as well, that would be cool."

Pics are now putting the challenge out to other kiwi-owned and operated brands to normalise the use of te reo Māori.