Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search


Emotiki app cultural analysis

Emotiki app cultural analysis: Mocking of a Māori deity, used a person’s image and ta moko without permission and other proposed Intellectual Property infringements.

Full report is online at

Digital Māori leader Karaitiana Taiuru has completed a cultural analysis of the mobile app Emotiki designed by Te Puia in Rotorua and has concluded that it contains a number of culturally unsafe issues: the satirical use of a Polynesian deity Tiki, Tame Iti and the use of his face and tā moko without permission, several other possible ethical and tikanga issues including possible Intellectual Property infringements.

The primary face of the Emotiki app is based on the Polynesian fertility deity of Tiki which is offensive to not just Māori but across Polynesia.

Other cultures and religions find such behavior of using religious icons for satirical purposes unacceptable. In recent years we have seen terrorist attacks in France, a Kiwi ex pat jailed in Myamar and a Santa float in Christchurch taken out of the parade for similar offensive images says Karaitiana Taiuru.

The human faces share three sets of tā moko despite tā moko being personal to the user. Another moko appears very similar to Kereopa Te Rau of the Pai Mārire faith, who was convicted of the murder of Völkner at the Supreme Court at Napier in December 1871.

The kuia, Taiuru believes has a high resemblance to Te Puea Herangi and was also likely digitised and cortoonised from a photo online.

Other issues Karaitiana Taiuru pointed out are with tikanga and the placement of the head with food and with the fact that Māori MPs, Māori and government departments are showing public praise for the emotiki, including the Ministry of Primary Industries who made an offensive tweet prior to Christmas using the emotiki.

Taiuru concludes his analysis stating that he would like to see a Māori emoji set, but with more care for cultural safety and ethical integrity. Also to ensure a robust tikanga process in is place.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

Gold For RNZ: Muslim Post-9/11 Series, Kim Hill Win In New York

The Radio New Zealand podcast series Public Enemy has won a gold award for excellence for its presenter, Mohamed Hassan, at the prestigious New York Festival Radio Awards announced in Manhattan today. RNZ National’s Saturday Morning host, Kim Hill, also received a gold award for Best Radio Personality. More>>

Human Rights Commission: Give Nothing To Racism

A campaign urging New Zealanders to give nothing to racism and refuse to spread intolerance has been launched by some of the country’s most well-known people. More>>

Louis Vuitton Series Win: Emirates Team NZ Will Challenge For The America’s Cup

By beating Artemis 5-2 they now take on Oracle Team USA in the America’s Cup match starting next weekend. More>>


Monterey: Rodger Fox Big Band Invited To Celebrated Festival

The Rodger Fox Big Band has received an invitation to perform at the 2017 Monterey 60th Anniversary Jazz Festival in the USA in September of this year. More>>

AntARTica: Scientist’s Painting Discovered In Antarctic Hut

The New Zealand Antarctic Heritage Trust has discovered an almost perfectly preserved 118 year old watercolour painting among penguin-excrement, dust and mould covered papers found in an historic hut at Cape Adare, Antarctica. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Set In Stone

Tthere are over a thousand public war memorials scattered around the country, commemorating over 30,000 New Zealanders who have died in wartime, and most of whom are buried overseas. More>>>More>>




  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland