An Italian craft beer company has created a Māori inspired brew named ‘Kia Ora’.
The Liquida alcoholic bevvy is served in a can, containing an illustrated head of a Māori man with moko and the phrase “Kia Ora” written underneath.
Despite being made in Italy, Liquida posted to their Instagram introducing the New Zealand-inspired beer.
In a translated caption the post reads: ”Pit stop in New Zealand, amongst the pristine landscapes, cultures and traditions of what is called “the land of the Māori people.”
“Kia Ora” is in fact the greeting of the Māori language, now it has become the common language of New Zealand English. It literally means “being healthy” and it translates to an informal hello.
“Kia Ora” is the pure expression of the smells of the hops of this wonderful land,” the caption finished.
When it comes to the name of the beer Cultural Advisor, Karaitiana Taiuru told The Spinoff: “calling a beer kia ora has a number of negative connotations for te reo Māori.”
Liquida’s website also states: “This time we will discover the Riwaka which is accompanied by Motueka and Pacific Sunrise are the protagonists in this beer which releases citrus aromas of grapefruit and tropical fruit.”
"Taking something that is in reference to health for a beer is definitely inappropriate."
Although the hops have been grown locally here in Aotearoa, we’re pretty sure that doesn’t give them the license to use culturally significant imagery.
Beer writer Denise Garland also to The Spinoff that “it’s as if the beer can itself is the head of a Māori person and so, to even be handling that and pulling that off the shelf, it is just so incredibly disrespectful. I cannot imagine that anyone would ever do that if they had a true understanding of just how offensive that is.”
We also noticed that the beer is photographed alongside a man’s arm containing tā moko - it’s unclear whether he has any Māori genealogy or any connection to Te Ao Māori.
Either way, if you’re making a bevvy using Kiwi products there are thousands of other, more respectful ways to go about it and unfortunately this one missed the mark.