Kiwiana, Religious Abuse Or Appropriation?
Cultural consultant Karaitiana Taiuru is calling the advert for Tasti bars which is online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&v=b_KlR-MNIuA a despicable use of inappropriate and satirical usage of Māori religious icons and racial stereotypes of Māori. He says it promotes racism and discrimination against Māori and their customary religious beliefs as well as perpetuates the often incorrect attitudes about Māori.
Included in the advert are Tiki the deity of fertility, fat Māori men cooking a European sailor (Captain Cook) while playing guitars, ancestors covered in food and one represented as a horse. Also included in the advert is a penguin dressed as a Native Alaskan or Inuit, often racially referred to as an Eskimo. This image is in bad taste and another example of a by gone era of racist colonial figures.
Karaitiana Taiuru does is grappling with how a New Zealand company be so culturally ignorant and offensive and not realise it? A simple user group interview or a cultural consultant would have quickly identified the issues. The advert had the potential to be a great kiwi iconic advert that New Zealand are so great at making, but it is likely this advert will now be remembered for something it was not intended to be.
Karaitiana Taiuru is encouraging people to make a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority.