Māori Language Week: Whittaker's brings back special-edition Miraka Kirīmi chocolate

Three images of the 33% koko Miraka Kirīmi tiakarete bars side by side against orange abstract background
The 33% koko Miraka Kirīmi tiakarete bars are being re-released this year for a limited time. Photo credit: Photo illustration - Newshub; Image - Supplied

Whittaker's is once again commemorating Te Wiki o te Reo Māori (Māori Language Week) with a special-edition te reo rebrand of its classic Kiwi treat, 33% cocoa Creamy Milk chocolate.

The Porirua-based chocolatier has been making the 33% koko Miraka Kirīmi tiakarete bars since 2020, but only began releasing the translated packaging in larger quantities last year. The Miraka Kirīmi (Creamy Milk) blocks were first launched in small amounts for social media engagement and special giveaways to raise awareness for the initiative, which aims to promote the use of te reo Māori and encourage more New Zealanders to learn the language as part of its revitalisation. This year Te Wiki o te Reo Māori will be observed from September 11-17. 

"Like many others across New Zealand, Whittaker's is on a journey with te reo and, as part of that, we are proud to help raise awareness around Te Wiki o te Reo Māori by making Miraka Kirīmi for this annual celebration," co-chief operating officer, Holly Whittaker, said in a statement on Tuesday.

"We've produced a bit more Miraka Kirīmi this year so there is more available for Whittaker's chocolate lovers who want to share a block with their friends and whānau but it will only be available until stocks of this special-edition block run out."

To help support Te Wiki o te Reo Māori further, Whittaker's is also offering its staff te reo lessons and producing recipes in te reo, Whittaker added. 

The te reo translation of the Creamy Milk chocolate label was overseen by the Māori Language Commission, Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori, to ensure its accuracy. 

The broader release of the translated packaging last year sparked some backlash on social media, with notorious right-wing blogger Cameron Slater tweeting, "Go woke, go broke... see ya @WhittakersNZ," alongside a picture of the rebranded labelling. 

However, criticism of the packaging prompted a number of Kiwis to pledge their allegiance to Whittaker's, with many promising to buy large quantities of the chocolate to show their support for the cause.  

The Miraka Kirīmi blocks are now available in stores nationwide for a limited time.