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For the second year in a row Countdown, Foodtown and Woolworths stores are taking a bilingual approach to advertising in support of Maori language week, something Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori (the Maori Language Commission) says is perhaps the most significant Maori language initiative by a corporate since Maori language was made an official language back in 1987. 

As part of the initiative, its stores this week are featuring te reo Maori and English words and phrases side by side in promo material, including store signage and the regular shopping mailer which reaches 1.4million households. 

Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori chief executive Glenis Philip-Barbara says with 158 stores nationwide this effort will expose over two million shoppers to te reo Māori over the week. 

“This represents a major achievement for te reo Māori, and Countdown should be congratulated for their continued bravery and foresight in delivering the language to a nationwide audience,” she says. 

Countdown has also opened its first ever bilingual supermarket in Tokoroa two weeks ago. The store features te reo signage throughout, and a Maori carving commissioned especially for the store sits at the supermarket entrance.