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New Zealand TV station broadcasts the weather bulletin in te reo Māori

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Why this simple TV weather report has divided New Zealand and sparked heavy backlash: ‘Sick of having this shoved down my throat’

  • Presenter Te Rauhiringa Brown appeared on TVNZ to deliver weekend weather 
  • However, she divided Kiwis after announcing weather in English and te reo Māori
  • Some took to social media to praise her move while others criticised her actions 

New Zealand’s state broadcaster has sparked a national debate after a TV presenter read out the weather bulletin in te reo Māori.

Te Rauhiringa Brown appeared on TVNZ to deliver the weather and used both English and te reo Māori as she read out the forecast. 

Viewers took to social media to praise the move – but some critics blasted her for being ‘irresponsible’.  

‘I will not watch the news anymore on (Channel) 1 as I am sick of having Te Reo shoved down my throat just (to) appease 17% of the population,’ one viewer said. 

Another said the Maori language was being ‘thrust upon us with rising resentment simmering among many’.

‘So tired of Maori placemats being used we don’t know where they are talking about most of the time. Why don’t you use the usual English names for town cities and other areas & the Maori name to follow,’ they added.

A third wrote: ‘What a disgrace!!! This is New Zealand NOT Rarotonga.’

Responding to the outrage, a fourth added that they weren’t surprised by the backlash. 

‘No kidding people complain, there is a channel and shows dedicated to maori if you want that language. People just won’t watch,’ they said. 

However, others were more supportive of the move. 

‘Who are these tiresome people who complain whenever they hear Te Reo on TV?’ one supporter asked. ‘What pitiful lives they must lead to get agitated about hearing a different language.’

Te Rauhiringa Brown appeared on TVNZ to deliver the weather and used both English and te reo Māori as she read out the forecast

‘There is always someone that has to moan,’ another fan said. ‘I think it’s great including both our cultures in TV programming, even if myself I don’t understand it.’ 

The taxpayer-funded state broadcaster also defended the move in statement. 

‘We welcome feedback from our viewers and our Facebook pages are moderated appropriately,’ a spokesperson told the New Zealand Herald.

‘We are proud of our presenters and how they embrace New Zealand’s unique cultural identity.

‘Our presenters and journalists are welcome to use a combination of English and te reo Māori where appropriate.’

The row comes after a New Zealand chocolate company came under fire for its new ‘woke’ packaging designed to honour Maori native language week.

Whittakers released its new packaging last Tuesday featuring a label which translates Creamy Milk to Miraka Kirimi – the equivalent term in Te Reo Māori, the official Māori language.

The new packaging received massive backlash after right-wing commentator Cam Slater tweeted a picture of the chocolate bar alongside the caption: ‘Go woke, go broke..see ya Whittakers’.

New Zealand chocolate company Whittakers released a new label (above) for their popular Creamy Milk chocolate block written entirely in Te Reo for Māori language week

New Zealand chocolate company Whittakers released a new label (above) for their popular Creamy Milk chocolate block written entirely in Te Reo for Māori language week 

Fans of the new Te Reo  package said they would 'stockpile' the label and slammed critics that claimed the label was too 'woke'

Fans of the new Te Reo  package said they would ‘stockpile’ the label and slammed critics that claimed the label was too ‘woke’

Some critics accused the chocolate company of going too far to appease ‘woke’ customers while others compared it to ‘forced mandated injections’.

‘Shame on you Whittaker’s we certainly won’t be buying your chocolates anymore,’ one wrote. 

However, the dissenting tweets were followed by a frenzy of supportive Whittakers fans vowing to ‘stockpile’ the chocolate’s limited wrapper to ‘stick it to the haters’.

‘Huge shoutout for Te Taura Whiri for continuing your mahi (work) to normalise our reo, the latest being the Whittaker’s Miraka Kirīmi,’ one person wrote

‘Thank you both for sticking your necks out on the line while racists slam you from all directions with hate and disgusting comments.’

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