Singapore uses play on Māori word kia ora
Singapore telecommunications company name their peer to peer mobile service kiora – a play on the Māori word – Kia ora.
Initially I read about this at http://www.brownpages.co.nz (which is a great new blog I just came across on Twitter) which made me think about the issue of international companies using Māori culture and words.
Media release here http://www.free-press-release.com/news/200901/1233313969.html
The kiora web site here http://www.kiora.tv
Personally I do not see an issue with this. It shows me that Māori culture is well known and liked in Asian countries. My personal experience also verifies this opinion, especially when I am greeted in Asia by my Asian colleagues with “Kia ora Mauri” and the constant requests for a haka in social situations.
As a colleague just said to me “kiora is not a Māori word is it!”. To my knowledge no it is not and I don’t see any issues with a play on a Māori word. In fact this is the spelling of the common miss pronunciation of “Kia ora”.
Kiora have not branded their site with Māori imagery and claiming to be a Māori company nor are they stealing any Māori Trademarks, Tapu names or anything of cultural importance.
I say good on kiora.tv and i hope there service arrives in New Zealand sometime soon.