New Zealand's Broadcasting Standards Authority (BSA) is making it crystal clear that speaking te reo Māori on-air is not a breach of standards.
Since June last year, the BSA says it has received 27 "enquiries" about the language's use, with two resulting in formal complaints against broadcasters. That's five times as many as in the same period the year before.
With te reo Māori being an official language of Aotearoa and protected by law, the BSA says its use is not a breach of standards.
"A complaint about the use of te reo Māori does not raise an issue of harm as envisaged by the standards. The use of te reo Māori is an editorial decision for broadcasters," the BSA said in a statement.
The authority encourages broadcasters to respond to such complaints by indicating that the language's use is not a breach of standards.
In early February, the BSA declined to determine a complaint about the use of te reo Māori in several TVNZ news and current affairs programmes.
The complainant said the language's use breached discrimination, denigration and fairness standards because te reo Māori greetings "[create] an expectation that viewers should accept te reo".
"I don't speak te reo Māori. I don't have the desire to do so and neither is it right to be expected. I respect Māori for doing what they can to keep their language alive as it's part of their culture. But it's not mine," the complainant said.
They said the language's use was "discriminatory toward non-Māori" and "divisive".
TVNZ didn't make a formal decision on the complaint as it said the use of the language did not constitute a breach of standards.
"In response to the referral, TVNZ requested the Authority decline to determine the complaint as 'the complainant does not raise any issue of programme standards as the complaint solely concerns the use of one of New Zealand's official languages'," the BSA said.
"It was concerned accepting the complaint referral 'gives the issues raised by the complainant an undeserved legitimacy."