Air NZ should be boycotted for attempt to trademark 'Kia Ora' logo - Māori Council

Air NZ's move to trademark the logo for its magazine Kia Ora has incensed the Māori Council so much it's calling for a boycott of the airline.

Spokesperson Brent Reihana told The AM Show he's bothered by the suggestion the words can be trademarked, especially during Māori Language Week.

"For it to be commercialised I think it's a really disgraceful act. 

"I think really they're two words and I think especially in this week, Te Wiki o te Reo Māori, they're two words that are synonymous not just with Māori but for all of New Zealand.

"To take it to the commercial context I don't think that's appropriate."

Reihana told host Duncan Garner he thinks the incident is serious enough to warrant a boycott of the airline.

"We think it is [nescessary] because it's about time that the crown, commercial enterprises, understand that Māori isn't for sale."

Air NZ has applied to the Intellectual Property Office for the trademark but said the move is only to protect the logo of its inflight magazine, Kia Ora. 

"This is the logo for the magazine title. It's standard corporate practice to have all our logos trademarked and we have just started the process given Kia Ora has recently been through a refresh," a spokesperson told media.

"The word kia ora has been registered to be used for a range of goods and services - dating back to 1992 - both in New Zealand and overseas."