Whanau Ora: Anton Matthews

The 2019 Whānau Ora Symposium, held by Te Putahitanga o Te Waipounamu, showcased the collective strength and capability of whānau to achieve better outcomes in areas such as health, education, housing, employment and income levels. As a proud sponsor of the symposium, Rātā Foundation spoke to some of the organisers and speakers during the three-day event.

Unlike most restaurants, FUSH is not just about serving up good kiwi kai.

Restaurant co-owner Anton Matthews says promoting the use of Te Reo Māori is something he is passionate about, and he has managed to weave it into daily life at FUSH.

“We are coming up three years, FUSH has evolved a lot over that time,” he said.

“We want to normalise Māori for both our staff and customers. Our menu has an English side and a Te Reo side, so you can order in Te Reo if you want to, our staff are encouraged to speak Te Reo, we answer the phone and the door with ‘kia ora’ not ‘hello’.  It’s just little things like that which can make a big difference.”

Mr Matthews said FUSH also shined a light on Te Reo with a series of learning sessions –  which had attracted hundreds of attendees.

“We just want to show New Zealander’s that it is a part of who we are as a culture, it’s a part of our cultural fabric and  worth celebrating.”

At the symposium, Mr Matthews gave his speech entirely in Te Reo, and he had a FUSH stall set up with Te Reo-adorned clothing.

“When you decide to put a t-shirt on, you’re making a statement to the world. A lot of our people are wearing Nike or Adidas tops, which is cool, but we are trying to give people another option if they want to wear something that is Māori.”

He said there were a few ideas on the go for FUSH, including taking their ‘waka’ (food van) on a trip around the South Island to host Te Reo classes.