Bilingual bins ensure no words wasted

By Regan Paranihi

Yesterday Waste Management NZ Limited launched the country’s first bilingual (Te Reo Māori/ English) waste bin labels in Gisborne.

Gisborne Mayor Meng Foon welcomed the launch by joining the Waste Management NZ team at a special assembly at Kaiti School where principal Billie-Jean Potaka Ayton had worked on the translations of 10 different types of waste bins into te reo.

Waste Management Manager Lower North Island, David Howie says, “The mayor's attendance at today's launch is greatly appreciated and we are delighted he backs this initiative."

The launch of the labels coincides with Māori Language Week and they are available to Waste Management NZ residential and commercial bins in Gisborne.

Foon says, "This is a very welcome initiative in bringing more te reo Māori into everyone's daily lives, and I'm proud that Gisborne is the first to lead this welcome development working with Waste Management."

The idea to create the bilingual tags came from a strong interest in the local Gisborne community.

Howie says, “We celebrate and encourage the use of New Zealand's native language.  This is a simple step to help bring te reo Māori into the forefront of everyday conversation."

Potaka Ayton says the new labels are a fantastic, practical way to better familiarise her students and the community with the Māori language.

"Our students are delighted with the new te reo Māori labels and are already eagerly learning the names for the different types of waste bins."

Waste Management NZ is looking at expanding to further regions over the next 12 months.  These regions will have their own translation based on local dialect.