The youth of Whangarei came out in numbers today in response to the owners of their local KiwiYo frozen yoghurt store after Monet Clarke left her job distressed at being told stop greeting customers with "Kia ora".
KiwiYo policy was stipulated in a phone conversation with Monet-Mei's father this week, referring to having one consistent language to greet their customers.
But that changed by the time they fronted for television.
A nationally-recognised crusader of the Māori language Naida Glavish says that if swearing was an official language it would be the appropriate one to use for this situation, and urges the public not to support businesses that don't respect our native tongue.
Mrs Glavish says, "How many years have we fought for our language and today this next generation continues that fight? So I must acknowledge this girl (Monet) for her bravery in maintaining the first language of this nation."
Despite being left without a job, Monet now has first-hand experience of the struggle for her native tongue.
The food at KiwiYo may be delicious, but for some it’s left a sour after-taste.