‘English only’ sign causes outrage

The 'Only English language to be spoken' sign that was posted on social media.

A post on social media has sparked outrage after it said “only English language is to be spoken” by staff in a Bay of Plenty supermarket.

Posted on a Papamoa social media group, the picture shows a notice board sign that has been put up by the supermarket’s management.

The sign says that only the English language is to be spoken in the supermarket, including the staffroom, shop floor and storeroom.

SunLive contacted Foodstuff NZ and in a statement they said the sign wasn’t intended to be culturally offensive, instead it was meant to help form better communication between staff.

“Like many organisations we now have a huge diversity and cultural mix in our stores. Sometimes this can lead to communication issues," says North Island general manager Doug Cochrane.

“A sign was put up in an attempt to ask staff to communicate in a common language that everyone understands.

“Unfortunately the wording on the sign did not convey the true intention or sentiment and was removed immediately.

 “The store team is working through better ways to deal with these sorts of issues.”


@ crazyhorse

Posted on 09-01-2018 12:36 | By MISS ADVENTURE

You are right, a crazy world. They also are happy to have a mosk anywhere that then becomes a radical haven so as to create cells to bomb the place, apparently that is their right to? A very strange world indeed.

Sad lefty A holes

Posted on 17-12-2017 13:13 | By crazyhorse

Outrage over English language only, but, they can stuff te reo down your throat till the cows come home and that’s dandy, what’s NZ turning into, a couple of honest NZ history lessons at school would be a good start to stop all this rubbish, "holocaust at Parihaka" bloody embarrassing to themselves and the other 85% of K1W1’s.

If you want service

Posted on 17-12-2017 09:12 | By Captain Sensible

If you want service from staff then speak the language that 100% of New Zealanders speak. Don’t kow tow to the PC "maori-is-an-important-language" brigade because only 1-2% of Kiwis understand it and most don’t care.

Good intentions

Posted on 17-12-2017 09:07 | By overit

and good idea. We had to play a game at our work to get to know one another at the staff Xmas function.

Where will it end.

Posted on 17-12-2017 00:11 | By OAP

Being" offended "or " disrespected " seems to be becoming a national pastime! Oh to return to the days when a spade was a spade , and Free Speech really was what it said, and we didn’t have to suffer these outbursts from the PC brigade .

Sorry, but get REAL,

Posted on 16-12-2017 21:38 | By The Caveman

The prime language in NZ is ENGLISH. And unless I have missed something, to get a resident permit you are required to have working knowledge of spoken ENGLISH - YES !! Then I have NO problem with an employer with a large workforce - I.E. a supermarket -- insisting that ALL - YES ALL - staff speak ENGLISH on the worksite - not only in the "public" side of the worksite but also on the non-public side of the worksite.

Supermarket sign

Posted on 16-12-2017 19:11 | By Val.M

I can understand why this sign is important. It is not to downgrade other languages, but to me is a sign of respect to all races to speak a language everyone can understand. At times have been a little uncomfortable when another language being spoken in my hearing and they looking at me!

I agree

Posted on 16-12-2017 19:04 | By Christine1965

As a foreigner I totally agree. I always speek english outside my own home. It’s anoying to hear other then English around me. I don’t understand those people!

Good on them...

Posted on 16-12-2017 18:38 | By GreertonBoy

If someone chooses to come to New Zealand, they should either already speak our language, or be prepared to learn it as best they can. People speaking languages that new Zealanders can’t understand could be openly discussing terror plots and we dont even know it. I bet if we went to a foreign country and couldn’t speak the language there, we would not have allowance made for us..... we would have to learn.

Wrong words indeed!

Posted on 16-12-2017 18:26 | By nerak

But perhaps a very small incentive scheme can be run to encourage those who do not easily communicate in English? Another idea would be to have a ’5 minute English only’ session during break times, might be a chance for English speakers to help their colleagues. Better communication between staff has to be a win. A good sign would read ’customers, we encourage you to ask ALL our staff where you might find something’. Personally, I love talking to people from other lands, and sometimes they speak far better English than the locals! Practice makes perfect.

Well Done.

Posted on 16-12-2017 17:01 | By

I agree with the signage." When in Rome do as the Romans do" as the saying goes. Too many foreigners gabble usually loudly in their own language. That is either dumb or just trying to be smart.

So Rude.

Posted on 16-12-2017 16:49 | By wtf

I myself find it rude. Speaking in there language is not involving everyone in the room. How does somebody know that they aren’t being impolite about someone. And the other point is I am sure the more that other cultures speak english the better they will learn.

What's the problem here?

Posted on 16-12-2017 16:38 | By TheCameltoeKid

The only people likely to be offended by this are the Lily-White Professional Offence Takers who insist on telling other people how to think. English is by far the dominant language spoken in this country and to be asked to speak this language in your workplace is not an unreasonable request! I’d like to hear the tripe that Susan Devoy will undoubtably spit out about this so-called issue. The article doesn’t actually state who exactly was offended. Good grief, it’s their business and if that somehow is ruled an unreasonable request then God help us! Sorry, may a superior devine being help us!

Wanting to be offended?

Posted on 16-12-2017 16:01 | By MISS ADVENTURE

Nothing wrong with the sign, NZ’s important language is English, there is no other of any importance or usefulness. In fact it is arrogant/ignorant to talk in a language when you know most/some cant understand it. Even from a OSH level it is important that all speak one language to avoid issues and health/accident risks. Get that sign back up!

fair enough guy

Posted on 16-12-2017 15:46 | By Delboy

cant see a problem with that,it is hard to understand some people these days

Well done

Posted on 16-12-2017 15:42 | By spencerb

About time somebody made a stand.


Posted on 16-12-2017 15:10 | By dumbkof2

best advice i have seen in a long time. agree things lost in translation


Posted on 16-12-2017 15:01 | By Helios

It is not a question of in Rome you do what the Romans do but a common sense should prevail.In a public place it is courtesy to prevent offending others by displaying some effort of understanding the social environment. I speak from personal experience as I mingle with many cultures. You can speak in your home environment but not in public.

Whose business is it?

Posted on 16-12-2017 14:51 | By The Tomahawk Kid

My business - My rules.Dont like the rules? - Dont apply for a job here.If this was a rule in the employment contract then there should be no problem.If it was a rule introduced later, then The offenders could have grounds for complaintIt appears YOUR business is not your business at all in the land of the politically correct. You have voted the rights to own your own business away to successive governments intent on telling you what you can and cannot do with it. A sad state of affairs.

Cool sign

Posted on 16-12-2017 14:44 | By Ness

There’s nothing wrong with the sign only the bleeding hearts will complain

Why Not

Posted on 16-12-2017 14:27 | By Jill B

Pilots have to speak English. When we came here 12 years ago from UK. we had to pay a levy so that none speaking English Imigrants could be taught English !!! It is the international recognized language.I see no harm in asking that English be spoken.

Sick of it

Posted on 16-12-2017 14:26 | By rastus

This is an english speaking country - Maori could have a reason for speaking in Maori but that is not practical since few but the’ believers’ speak it so not going to get very far with that argument - you poor offended idiots get over it and start living with a modicum of common sense!


Posted on 16-12-2017 14:19 | By outback

what a good idea more shops should follow suit.


Posted on 16-12-2017 13:58 | By Christine1965

Oh for goodness sake, put the sign back.

Good grief.

Posted on 16-12-2017 13:18 | By waiknot

People will always look for an opportunity to be offended

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