The airline is also starting to rollout te reo Māori as a language option on its Inflight Entertainment system, starting with its A321 and A320 neo aircraft.
As the country celebrates Māori Language Week, the airline will also engage with some followers in te reo through its various social media channels during the week.
Air New Zealand’s Cultural Development Manager Henare Johnson says the airline has been working closely with its digital team and translators to make te reo available on its check-in and bag drop kiosks.
“Our Inflight Entertainment (IFE) team has also been working closely with translators to carefully interpret our inflight content. We have already introduced some Māori content into our IFE, including bilingual answers on our domestic inflight quiz. It’s great to introduce te reo as a language option starting with our A321 and A320 neo aircraft, followed by our A320 and widebody Boeing 777 and Boeing 787 fleets from the end of this year.
“As New Zealand’s national airline we recognise Māori culture is an important part of our country’s identity and are focussed on further weaving it into our organisation and our customer experience.”
Other initiatives the airline has introduced over the past few years include:
- Launching the Tohu Reo pin in conjunction with Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori (Māori Language Commission) which recognises fluent Māori speakers
- Committing to increasing the airline’s representation of Māori and Pasifika employees in leadership roles to 20 percent by 2022
- Developing the Te Kete Tikanga Māori mobile app for staff which is a useful resource for employees to engage in the Māori culture and build confidence in using te reo Māori
- Introducing a Manu network for Māori and Pasifika employees
- Announcing changes enabling Air New Zealand employees to proudly display Tā Moko and non-offensive tattoos.
- Creating Te Ara Nui (meaning ‘the great path’) cultural graduation ceremony to formally recognise new cabin crew at the culmination of their intensive training at the Air New Zealand Academy of Learning
- Partnering with the TupuToa – Maori and Pasifika Corporate Pathways Programme. TupuToa is an internship programme designed to promote and encourage young Māori and Pasifika people into corporate careers. Since 2016 the airline has had 21 interns come into the business
- Signing a strategic alliance agreement with Te Matatini Society Incorporated to work closely together to develop and showcase the Te Matatini kapa haka (Māori performing arts) festival as New Zealand’s premium cultural event and promote Aotearoa New Zealand to the world