The Media Council has rejected a complaint which opposed the Herald's use of te reo Māori words.
It said it was up to a news media organisation to decide the extent to which it wishes to use Māori words.
The Media Council informed the Herald of the complaint, following a Broadcasting Standards Authority (BSA) announcement which declined complaints of TVNZ using too much te reo on mainstream television.
The article, which received a significant response, reported several Māori leaders' responses to the resignation of former chief executive of Oranga Tamariki, Grainne Moss, and the appointment of Sir Wira Gardiner as acting chief executive.
The article recorded Gardiner's iwi affiliations. It also included use of other words in te reo such as: wahine, tamariki Māori, rangatiratanga, mana motuhake and whānau.
One particular reader said the article had an "over-use" of "unnecessary Māori language" and that blending te reo in English written articles would make the English language "inferior".
The Herald responded that: "Te reo Māori is an official NZ language. Further, it considered it to be a taonga for our entire country and it was honoured to contribute to celebrating its use at all levels of society."
The reader rejected the Herald's response.
The exit of Moss was a story which impacted Māori, as her resignation was a result of mistreatment towards Māori children in state care.
"It is hardly surprising to find a more frequent use of Māori terms including rangatiratanga, mana motuhake or tamariki," the Media Council said.
The Media Council notes that recording iwi affiliation is a common practice and that many of the te reo words used were direct quotes from those contributing.
"We also note that the English language has freely adopted words from other languages over time, as well as developing local variants."
Te reo Māori became an official language of Aotearoa New Zealand in 1987, as part of the Crown's obligation to protect it in honour of its partnership agreement in the Treaty of Waitangi.
Almost 150 years post Treaty, te reo Māori was becoming a near-extinct language which did not reflect the values of a Treaty partnership. The partnership has now changed and supports the use of te reo Māori nation-wide.
The Herald is proud to be part of the journey to support the revitalisation of te reo Māori.
The Media Council is an independent forum that resolves complaints about online content of the following broadcasters: TVNZ, Mediaworks, Māori Television, Sky Network Television, NZME and Radio New Zealand.