In New Zealand the hongi is a culturally significant gesture, to our ignorant Australian counterparts there's something smelly about it.
Australian newspaper the Courier Mail has captioned a poignant photo of Prince Harry with Meghan being greeted with a hongi in Wellington as the "Sniff test".
The Brisbane-based paper continues with its ignorant comments, headlining an article about the royal couple's arrival in Wellington: "NZ really nose how to welcome royal cuzzies".
The Courier Mail's interpretation of the greeting was published in Monday's edition of the paper.
The couple were both embraced with hongi at a traditional Māori welcome ceremony, which also included a military gala, haka and 21-gun salute, on the lawns of Government House on Sunday.
The hongi is a traditional Māori greeting and is done by both parties by pressing noses and forehead at the same time. It represents the breath of life being exchanged.
University of Waikato associate professor at the faculty of Māori and Indigenous studies Tom Roa said it was not funny and would be offensive in Australia, New Zealand or the UK, regardless of an indigenous context, to suggest that people of a high status had to be sniffed.
"When I saw it I thought this shows clearly that this person is totally unfamiliar with what a hongi is and is possibly joking about it because of its strangeness to the person ...
"They might have an audience that consider it funny, but I don't find it funny in the least."
"If I'm unkind I could say they show more than an ignorance. It's insensitive and inappropriate."
University of Auckland associate professor at Te Puna Wānanga, Faculty of Education and Social Work, Tony Trinick said the caption was probably more ignorant rather than explicitly derogatory.
Trinick said the hongi was a sign of respect and both a physical and spiritual exchange. It was only given where people were meeting for the first time or had not seen each other for a while, he said.
"They don't see it in the way different cultures encounter. The French kiss, others handshake, some bow - they all probably have their origins somewhere."
The Courier Mail has been approached for comment.