Aviation

Air New Zealand backs down on ‘Kia Ora’ trademark attempt following uproar

Ali Coulton

Ali Coulton

Air New Zealand has dropped a trademark application for its Kia Ora inflight magazine logo after consultation with Māori leaders.

Last week, the Māori Council threatened to boycott the airline after it applied to trademark the masthead of its in-flight magazine. The airline claimed it was trademarking the logo, not the words ‘kia ora’.

Air New Zealand CEO Christopher Luxon said after consultation with iwi leaders around New Zealand, and intellectual property law experts, it has become clear that the government needs to undertake an urgent review of the rules governing the trademarking of words and phrases from the Māori language.

“While Air New Zealand had set out to trademark just the Kia Ora magazine logo rather than the words themselves, we have inadvertently sparked a much-needed discussion between Māori, intellectual property law experts and Government,” Luxon said.

“The current trademark situation does not reflect the sometimes differing and legitimate views of both the Māori and legal communities.”

The airline said it applied for the trademark after another organisation used the Kia Ora name on a digital magazine.

Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu chief executive officer Arihia Bennett commended Air New Zealand for seeking the views of Māori leaders on the trademark issue.

“Ngāi Tahu, along with many other iwi, also face challenges navigating the trademark law. We support Air New Zealand’s call for the Government to take urgent action to find a pathway that meets the needs of Māori and business, and gives effect to the findings of the Waitangi Tribunal Report on the Wai 262 claim ‘Ko Aotearoa Tēnēi’,” Bennett said.

Pania Tyson-Nathan chief executive of New Zealand Māori Tourism said Air New Zealand has done “more than any large company to support the growth and awareness of Māori language and culture in Aotearoa and around the world.”

“The fact that it listened to the voices of respected Māori leaders in order to better understand well-expressed concerns over the trademark logo issue speaks volumes to the character of the airline.

“We fully agree with it that government must step up and put in place better laws and processes that recognise the needs of Māori and commercial entities when dealing with the native language of our nation.”

Last week, Māori Council executive director Matthew Tukaki told TVNZ the airline’s “hair-brained scheme [to trademark Kia Ora] is an insult to all Māori and all New Zealanders during Māori language week.”

“Let’s be really clear here: this is an insult pure and simple,” Tukaki said.

“The logo commercialises the words … we have no problem with them using the words, but they should not be attempting to link trademarks to them, even if it is only a logo,” Māori Council spokesman Brent Reihana told TV3.


SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Aviation

Virgin furthers Velocity status extension, adds bonus rewards for flights between October and March

With international travel now well on its way, Velocity Frequent Flyer is proving that loyalty works both ways with some extra perks for members and the promise of new partnerships with overseas carriers.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Carnival outlines new sustainability goals, with aspirations to achieve carbon-neutral operations by 2050

Meanwhile, considering the state of things, the only thing Travel Weekly staff are aspiring to be by 2050 is still alive and kicking.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

“CALLS FOR A HAPPY DANCE!” Qantas flighty wearing uniform for first time since COVID goes viral

This flight attendant’s happy dance has been melting hearts across the internet. The fact that she’s also an influencer probably helped, too.

Share

CommentComments

Technology

Federal government takes next step in prepping for international travel restart

ScoMo and his team of ministers are hurriedly trying to make sure everything’s tickety-boo by the time our international borders reopen.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Aurora Expeditions jumps on mandatory vaccination bandwagon

If getting vaxxed is our ticket to travelling again, we at Travel Weekly gladly roll up our sleeves. Even if Bill Gates has popped a microchip in the doses (he hasn’t).

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Air Canada to resume Sydney-Vancouver flights from mid-December

Looks like Air Canada will beat Qantas by one day in resuming its Sydney-Vancouver service. We can hear Alan Joyce sighing from here.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Marriott offers its own ‘vaccine passport’ to Aussie travellers

Fancy a month’s worth of free accommodation across Australia, NZ and the Pacific to enjoy once it is safe to do so? Well, you’ll need both jabs to be in with a chance.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

Globus family of brands introduces proof-of-vaccination policy for all trips

If you’ve got clients booked to join any Globus, Cosmos, Avalon Waterways or Monograms trip, you’d better pray they’re not anti-vaxxers.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Qantas to resume 12 international routes from 18 December

by Ali Coulton

If all goes to plan, 18 December will now be known as the beginning of the end of Australia’s overseas travel ban hellscape. Coincidentally, it’s also our deputy editor’s birthday!

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Longest-running CEO of any major hotel company calls time on career

BWH Hotel Group’s longtime president and CEO is retiring, with an Esky, BBQ tongs and Big Mouth Billy Bass Singing Fish mooted as possible leaving gifts.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

ETG agents score access to thousands of custom trips via Designer Journeys

The company’s network of independent agents can now impress clients with access to loads of tailorable itineraries and expert advice.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Coral Expeditions launches new summer sailings along South Australia’s wild coast

The five new journeys all take place intrastate, so even the toughest border closures can’t put a stop to these babies. As long as your clients live in SA, that is.

Share

CommentComments