Air New Zealand's new uniforms are disrespectful to traditional Maori symbols, a Maori academic says.
Canterbury University Maori and Indigenous School head Rawiri Taonui said Maori symbols such as the koru on the Trelise Cooper-designed uniforms did not treat the cultural symbols with respect.
"It's way too busy and inelegant," he said.
"It's obviously been drawn by someone who doesn't appreciate the culture or understand the deeper symbolism."
Taonui said the Maori symbols on the uniforms each had different meanings and should not be randomly mixed together.
"When you look at traditional Maori sculpture ... each symbol is quite distinct," he said. "With [the uniform], they're sort of thrown together in seemingly no pattern."
He was happy for koru and other symbols to be used on clothing, provided it was done "with elegance".
Did I hear the word "precious" echoing round the halls of Canterbury Uni?
My God, this is really scraping the bottom of the barrel. Prof. Taonui must be up for a funding review for his department and felt that a little publicity would help sway the funding committee.
I really worry that a great deal of maori academia (and not just Prof. Taonui's dept, despite it's recent history) is sometimes out of touch with the real world. Isolated within it's own conceit and distinguishment, it seeks a relevance that continues to elude it. It doesn't need to be so outlandish to garner credence. Professor Taonui should have the self confidence in himself to know how vital history is its application to the present and future. Especially without having to resort to banal press releases.
If I were more vehement there might be other - bad - words I could use about this, but then that would accomplish the good Professors goal of the comments provoking a reaction.
Like an errant child, perhaps the best thing to do is ignore them.
Or how much does the Super Nanny cost? She wouldn't put up with this.
Hat Tip: NZ Conservative