The cash and the culture: ANZ brings Maoridom to the streets for Matariki

  • Marketing
  • July 3, 2015
  • Johan Chang
The cash and the culture: ANZ brings Maoridom to the streets for Matariki

While the world is becoming increasingly cashless, there are rare occasions where dollar bills are required. And ANZ, which has already got a far bit of marketing mileage out of adding some character to a few of its high-profile money dispensers, has just launched its second Matariki-inspired design. 

ANZ is showcasing Matariki, the Māori new year festival, which runs through July, with a new surround for selected ATMs that was created by artist Kereama Taepa, of Ngāti Whakaue and Taranaki Whānui.

The design was inspired by two customary art practices: whakairo carving and kowhaiwhai painting.

Image by Shawn Moodie

“Creating the themed ATMs for a second consecutive year is just one of of the ways we’re supporting the cultural significance of Matariki, and celebrating the cultures of our staff and diversity within New Zealand,” says Peter Parussini, the head of corporate affairs at ANZ.

The launch of the design also marks the start of ANZ’s month-long celebration of Te Ao Māori (the Maori world), with activities for both staff and customers, says ANZ head of Māori relationships David Harrison.


"We're encouraging staff to use more te reo when they can throughout July, in addition to Māori language week. There will also be cultural events in Wellington and Auckland and we’ll be launching the findings of our second annual Māori Business survey,” Harrison says.

Taepa, who fuses the old with the new, the traditional with pop culture, says the whakairo patterns on the Matariki-themed ATMs depict the separation of Ranginui, the Sky Father and Papatūānuku, the Earth Mother.

“This is an important part of Māori philosophy as it was this act that created the world of light that we live in today."

ANZ has a history of adorning its ATMs with interesting surround designs marking special occasions such as Anzac Day, Diwali, Daffodil Day and Gay Pride.

BNZ is also set to launch a company tohu, designed by Derek Lardelli. This follows on from other companies like Air New Zealand and Sealord that incorporate tikanaga into how they brand themselves. 

According to The Register, Matariki celebrations fell out of favour in the 1940s, but are now growing in popularity following a revival led by the Maori Language Commission, the Ministry of Education and Te Papa museum. And retailers are also getting in on the action. 

Mighty Ape ‘Sales gorilla’ Vicky Robinson says the company hasn’t run a Matariki sale before.

“The thinking behind it was, we're a family owned, New Zealand-based company, and want to support all things Kiwi,” she says. “It wasn't so much about sales, more around celebrating something that is unique to us.”

Robinson says Mighty Ape launched a similar campaign around Chinese New Year in February. It targeted Chinese browsers so that they saw a special “Happy New Year” message.

Foodstuffs and Fly Buys also ran a Matariki promotion this year and in 2014 through the New World brand. Foodstuffs representative Katherine Klouwens says this promotional activity was amplified this year and tied into a one day sale.

“We wanted to celebrate the Maori New Year and reward customers with bonus Fly Buys points, one day sale deals and inspiring meal inspiration when shopping at their favourite, local New World,” Klouwens says.

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