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KiwiYo CEO “Deeply Sorry” Over Whangarei Staff Member

Press Release

For Immediate Release

22 August 2014

KiwiYo CEO “Deeply Sorry” For What Happened to the Whangarei Staff Member

Following the news that a member of staff at a KiwiYo franchise in Whangarei has left her job after having been prohibited from using the greeting “Kia Ora” instead using of the officially scripted version in the staff training manual. KiwiYo CEO, Norman Markgraaff has said that he is “deeply sorry” that this situation occurred.

“It is not clear who said what to whom in this scenario but all of us here at KiwiYo are, frankly mortified as we believe that the word “Kia Ora” is an entirely appropriate greeting and can be used as part of the KiwiYo welcome presentation.

“If you take a look at both our staff and our customers, we employ and serve a wide variety of nationalities and we respect them all equally and the Maori language, one of New Zealand’s three Official languages, is just as appropriate as any other if a staff member wishes to use that greeting” continued Mr. Markgraaff

Mr. Markgraaff said “My family and I come from South Africa and if we were to greet a fellow South African we may well choose to do so in Afrikaans – and that is equally as appropriate in our view. The most important thing is to make a customer feel welcome and feel important. It doesn’t matter what language that it is done in.”

“We will be working with our network of stores to ensure that this issue does not arise again, as well as addressing any areas of weakness in our Staff Handbook which may, be unclear. Having said that, there are absolutely no guidelines in the current Handbook that would prevent the use of “Welcome” in any language”.

Mr. Markgraaff said that he would be visiting the departed staff member in the next day or so to offer his apologies personally and explore how he might rectify the situation from her perspective.

In 2011, KiwiYo, a family owned business, opened its first location in Mission Bay, offering the industry’s tastiest and best quality, New Zealand made frozen yoghurt and it remains committed to being New Zealand’s best provider of customer service and overall customer experience.


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