Whānau business ‘Fush’ among the auspicious line up for Māori Language Awards

A whānau driven business designed to make an impact on the use of te reo in the South Island has been announced as a finalist in the 15th Ngā Tohu Reo Māori, the National Māori Language Awards. ‘Fush’ is a whānau-owned business with two high market restaurants in Ōtautahi who have developed a credible reputation excelling in customer service and food quality that is uniquely Māori.

Champions of the principles of Whānau Ora, Fush serve up fresh kiwi kai while showcasing manaakitanga and providing opportunities for rangatahi to grow and strengthen their cultural identity. The hardworking and dedicated whānau team of Maia, Jess and Anton Mathews, share a passion for normalising te reo Māori within the workplace and showing young rangatahi the value of hospitality and generosity, particularly within te ao Māori.

“Their Whānau Ora initiative ‘Te Hapai Ō’ is enabling rangatahi to be full-time staff members of Fush, allowing the rangatahi to engage in hospitality training to work towards certification in the industry,” says Helen Leahy, Pouārahi /Chief Executive, Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu, (Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency).

 “Te Pūtahitanga is supporting Fush to take their business out on the road, to share their learnings in a hīkoi around Te Waipounamu aimed to promote and normalise te reo in homes, workplaces, sport and all social environments. By doing this we can enable this whānau to share their remarkable talent with the rest of Aotearoa and grow cultural proficiency within our communities,” says Ms Leahy.

 “It’s lovely to be nominated. Whatever happens, we are chuffed to be there hanging out with some cool people who share the same dreams and aspirations as we do for te reo Māori. He wā tōna me wahangū, he wā tōna nē maniori kī, says Anton Mathews”.

The whānau share the view that “Sometimes being humble and quiet is a good thing but it’s important to take time to feel proud of what you’re doing and give yourself a wee high five behind the scenes. Come Saturday, we are back into the mahi.”

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