Keep up to date with what's happening at Switched On Group as we continue to enhance environments for whānau, businesses and communities across Aotearoa.

Here, we'll share stories about our kaimahi, projects, community kaupapa and successes in the industry. 

Celebrating te reo Māori at Switched On

14 September 2023
Switched On Group is on a journey to embrace te ao and te reo Māori and sees Te Wiki o te Reo Māori as a chance to encourage kaimahi-team members across Aotearoa to give te reo a go in the office, on the building site and in their local hapori-community.

“As a whānau and iwi-owned business operating in Aotearoa, understanding te ao and te reo Māori is vital to our mahi and our relationships with kaimahi, subcontractors and our communities. Te Wiki is an opportunity to provide extra learning opportunities, but our commitment to educating our people remains strong across the whole year,” says Chief Operating Officer, Christian Smith (Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Ngāti Maniapoto).

To celebrate Māori Language Week this year, Switched On Group has created and launched table talker resources for staff in its eight offices from Tairāwhiti-Gisborne to Ōtautahi-Christchurch. The idea is to have useful reo available in everyday places and spaces, such as at hui and in the lunchrooms. A list of relevant phrases and kupu has also been created for staff, covering everything from phone greetings to how to ask a mate to hand you a beer. A quiz is being held to add some fun to the learning.

“By creating relevant resources that are useful in the contexts our kaimahi operate, it’s easier for our people to pick up and use reo, and have a bit of fun doing it too,” Smith says.

Te Wiki has also seen the launch of the first in a series of kaimahi reo journey stories, with General Manager of Communications, Engagement and Impact, Hannah McKnight (Ngāti Porou) sharing why reo is important to her and how her son motivates her to continue learning for the next generation.

“My biggest learning moment so far has been realising that you do not need to speak a tonne of te reo Māori to inspire and encourage other people to get on the waka and start learning. It’s really encouraging to see so many of our team members embracing te reo and giving it a go,” McKnight says.

For the Group, learning and celebrating te reo Māori doesn’t start and end with Te Wiki; it’s part of doing everyday business.

At Matariki, the Group launched its own karakia created in partnership with Tūraukawa Bartlett (Ngāti Whātua ki Tāmaki, Ngāti Pākehā) to reflect the Group’s te reo Māori name ‘Kā te Rama’, gifted by iwi partners Ngāti Toa Rangatira. Tutorials and a video series to help with pronunciation were provided to all staff and teams from tradespeople to finance have been practising using the karakia to open and close hui since. We've created special karakia videos of teams across the business delivering our karakia just in time for Mahuru Māori, In line with maramataka Māori.


To find out more about Switched On Group’s reo Māori journey or to access our resources for your construction business, contact