Put The Pressure On Stuff & NZHerald: Who Will Be The First To Use Te Reo Māori Correctly?

1,000 signatures

Inspired by the bold move at 3News where producers defended its weather presenter's regular use of te reo Māori, we are encouraging our leading online media outlets to step up to the plate and do the same by correctly using macrons in their articles on and offline when using te reo Māori.


"To the Editors of Stuff.co.nz & the New Zealand Herald,

We call on you to use te reo Māori correctly in your articles, both print and online. Specifically, we call on you to start using macrons for the correct spelling of various Māori words. As industry leaders you have a responsibility to utilise best practice language use. As te reo Māori is an official language of New Zealand, we call on you to show respect and accuracy in your reporting."

Further reading:

Māori is an official language of Aotearoa New Zealand. In te reo Māori macrons are symbols used to indicate long vowels and failure to do so can change the meaning of a word completely. For example keke means cake and kēkē means armpit! 

Failure to use macrons is considered a failure to use established Māori language orthographic conventions and those recommended by Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori.

Both Stuff.co.nz and the The NZ Herald do not use macrons at all.

The error occurs in many towns and cities, including Ōtāhuhu, Tītahi Bay, Paekākāriki Hill and Pāuatahanui and even commonly used words in common use like whānau, wētā, kōwhai, tūī and pōhutakawa (which we have since corrected on our own campaign!)

Māori Language Commission Acting Chief Executive Poia Rewi says journalists and presenters speaking Māori is the best way to normalise and revitalise the language.

Government departments, as well as various official bodies such as the University of Otago and news outlets like Radio New Zealand, have committed to using macrons correctly.

Help encourage Stuff.co.nz and NZ Herald to do the right thing by signing the petition encouraging them to use macrons when using te reo Māori.

 ~ References ~

  1. 3 News defends use of Te Reo, Radio NZ
  2. Extra letter ends streets bad spell, NZ Herald
  3. War Of The Words, Otago Daily Times
  4. Guidelines for Maori Maori Language Orthography

NB: Some people have reported trouble using our site. We are working on identifying and resolving the problem, but in the meantime, it seems to be only affecting people who have signed a petition with us before. If you find you can't sign the petition and it just says "Saving" for a long time, simply sign out of your account (at the bottom of the page) and then you'll be able to add your name. Hopefully we'll have a permanent fix to this problem soon!


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