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My Food Bag and chef Rex Morgan will bring te reo Māori into the kitchen

Jaxin Daniels

Kete Kai hosted by former MasterChef judge will encourage te reo Māori in kitchen

Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air

My Food Bag has teamed with Kiwi chef and former MasterChef judge Rex Morgan to launch a series that will encourage te reo Māori in the kitchen.

Kete Kai is a social-first content initiative driven by leading Māori language promotion and production agency ATA, in conjunction with My Food Bag’s Bargain Box.

Each week, Kete Kai will feature guest Māori language advocates, including Lou Walker, Awhimai Fraser, Pere Wihongi and Pairama Wright.

They will join Morgan as his sous chefs, preparing Bargain Box meals while using te reo Māori phrases and words to explain the cooking process and ingredient names.

To ensure wider accessibility, the show will provide English subtitles to help viewers understand and learn the te reo Māori phrases.

Sonny Ngatai, director at ATA and a te reo Māori advocate, expresses the significance of this collaboration in encouraging everyday Kiwis to use te reo Māori in their daily lives.

“Whether you’re new to te reo, or ready for the next phase of your Māori language journey, Kete Kai presents an incredible opportunity to immerse yourself in the language by learning about your kai and te reo Māori, a fundamental part of our Māori culture.”

Ngatai was instrumental in the creation of the show and says he came up with the idea while cooking with his partner.

“When we started cooking we had to flip back to English because we didn’t know the words for things ... then it just dawned that we should make a reo Māori show about cooking … and emphasise phrases and words that we would normally use in the kitchen.”

Ngatai also praises My Food Bag for its efforts in helping create the show and eagerness to start its own te reo journey.

”They saved the day by creating all the kai ... and it was our job to bring it to life and together we wove in te reo Māori.”

“The whanaungatanga [dynamic] between us was good ... It would be awesome to take their reo journey to another level, and create a show that could support whanau when they cook.”

Trish Whitwell, head of innovation at My Food Bag, expressed her excitement about the series.

“We’re excited to play a role in supporting and encouraging Kiwis to learn te reo – and what better way to do it than in the kitchen where it’s accessible and the whole family can get involved,” says Whitwell.

The Kete Kai recipes are available to order from Bargain Box between June 5 and August 6.

Kete Kai will air every Wednesday from June 7 for 10 consecutive weeks.

By swiping up on the episodes or visiting the Bargain Box website, viewers can order the meals featured on the show.

The Kete Kai meals will come with bilingual recipe cards featuring English and te reo Māori so Kiwis can practice the te reo phrases learned during the episode while cooking at home.

Additionally, a QR code on the recipe will provide a full te reo version for digital.

Hero Image: Top New Zealand chef Rex Morgan will host a new social-content series that promotes te reo Māori in the kitchen. Photo / Supplied

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