TVNZ1 reporter Te Rauhiringa Brown criticized for his inclusive movement

In Aotearoa, New Zealand’s Maori translation, it’s not uncommon to hear news anchors read part of the bulletin in Maori te reo.

But on TVNZ 1’s 6pm Sunday news bulletin, hearing the weather report in the country’s national language apparently didn’t sit well with some viewers on social media.

Anchor Te Rauhiringa Brown is covering the weekend weather report while Renee Wright is on maternity leave, the Herald of New Zealand reports.

Brown presented Sunday night’s forecast in both te reo and English, using place names for cities such as Auckland for Auckland, Hamilton for Hamilton, Otautahi for Christchurch and Dunedin for Dunedin.

And while the response had been overwhelmingly positive, some took offense and took to the TVNZ 1 Facebook page after the broadcast to share their thoughts.

“I understand that we could all improve our understanding of the reo… but not on the 6pm TV news,” wrote one on Facebook.

“I want to know what is happening with the climate in my country. Not getting a Maori language lesson. If you want to provide the weather in te reo, please do so on one of the Maori channels,” another shared, despite the fact that the report is in both English and te reo.

Another response was worded more strongly: “I will never watch tv1 again. I don’t understand the Maori language.”

Meanwhile, another commented, “We need a presentation of the weather like it used to be. Too confusing, not easy to understand.”

Another wrote that he had “little idea what the presenter is saying. Some of what I assume is Maori the rest in English [sic]. What a misfortune! This is New Zealand, not Rarotonga.”

While he was correct in saying that this is not Rarotonga, it is Aotearoa, the presenter was speaking te reo, not Rarotongan or Cook Islands Māori. In response to a request for comment from the Herald, a TVNZ spokesperson said: “We welcome feedback from our viewers and our Facebook pages are moderated appropriately. We are proud of our presenters and how they embrace New Zealand’s unique cultural identity. Our presenters and journalists may use a combination of English and Maori I reo you when appropriate.”

The spokesperson noted that the station has not formally responded to complaints about the use of te reo since the Broadcasting Standards Authority’s 2020 ruling that it is not a breach of program standards to broadcast in Maori.

“The BSA has specifically advised that broadcasters are not expected to formally respond to complaints about Māori te reo.”

Last month, Brown told Te Ao Maori News that he took the opportunity to share his love of Maori tea on the 6 p.m. news.

“It’s great to be a part of the change that we’re seeing on mainstream television right now,” he said.

It comes after a similar backlash over Whittakers’ new-label chocolate block that launched last week.

Some Creamy Milk lovers were offended by the tea name, Miraka Kirimi, printed on the label and said they would boycott the brand.

However, others pointed out that there are countless products on our supermarket shelves labeled in other languages.

This article originally appeared in the NZ Herald and is reproduced with permission.

Read related topics:Climate

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