So cheap caricatures don’t violate Tikanga Maori


A green smiling tiki will replace the ubiquitous yellow smiley face in the first Maori emoji keyboard.

Rotorua visitor attraction Te Puia has developed Emotiki, a 150-character emoji keyboard with distinctly Maori icons ranging from piupiu (flax skirts) and hangi, to kete and koura (crayfish).

A small selection of moving emotikis will include poi and taiaha moves, and a winking tiki.

Te Puia general manager sales and marketing, Kiri Atkinson-Crean, said emoji was now a popular part of daily digital language, but there were limited New Zealand emoticons.

So let’s commercialise some more Maori culture then. 

Atkinson-Crean said the idea for emotiki came from watching youngsters at kapa haka competitions celebrating their performances on social media.

“All they could use were expressions and symbols from other countries. We wanted to give them another form of this language with Māori culture emotikis for an opportunity to express themselves.”

Some expressions would be quickly interpreted across cultures. Others, such as pūkana (fierce facial expression used in haka), were uniquely Māori.

Te Puia elders were consulted over the concept, Atkinson-Crean said.

“They loved them and gave us their blessing that we were on the right track.

“We’ve purposely made emotikis free so they can be used with no barriers by all people, not only Māori and not just New Zealanders. That said, we hope Māori and Kiwis in general really embrace these cool little guys.”

Interesting concept.  Whenever someone “Kiwi” does haka without prior approval, there is a huge uproar.  Any kind of Maori artifact and it has to ‘come home’ to New Zealand where it can be with its ancestors.   If you want to dig a culvert you have to make sure the local taniwha is appeased.

But to use these emotiki, apparently is just fine.

Let’s give them a spin:

Eh, did you hear?  Moko died Selection_092



He was killed by his whanauSelection_093



Hush!!! Don’t talk.  You RACIST Selection_094




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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

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