HEATHER MORRIS AGAINST STUFF

Case Number: 2996

Council Meeting: FEBRUARY 2021

Verdict: No Grounds to Proceed

Publication: Stuff

Ruling Categories: Offensive Language

Overview

Heather Morris complains that she is deeply offended by the stuff.co.nz greeting at the top of their page. She says in her complaint, “It does not greet me, I don’t speak the language they use “kia ora aotearoa”.

She further notes there is no such island as Aotearoa in any atlas she has ever seen.

She says that if Stuff is going to use a language that is spoken by a minority, that’s fine, but they should put English first as that is the language of the majority.

The Media Council notes that Te Reo is one of the official languages of New Zealand. “Aotearoa” is widely used in New Zealand as the alternative name of this country, and in our assessment is accepted as such by most New Zealanders.

Furthermore the greeting complained about is widely used and widely understood by most inhabitants of these islands. They need no translation. It is up to each news organisation the extent to which it uses Māori words.

No Principles have been breached.

Finding: Insufficient Grounds to Proceed.

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