New Zealand teachers who want to use the titles matua and whaea in the classroom instead of Mr and Miss have been given the green light to do so by the Ministry of Education.
It comes on the back of a campaign started by Hawke's Bay student teachers Arihi Hutana and Rangi Mitchell - who left Clive School in early March when told they couldn't be referred to by pupils as matua and whaea.
After criticism that reached as far as Parliament, Clive School reviewed its position.
It confirmed on Monday that, on the back of the review, all of its teachers were welcome to choose to be referred to as these terms.
Mitchell and Hutana told Hawke's Bay Today that Clive School's decision was pleasing, but change at an institutional level was also needed.
Ministry of Education policy spokeswoman Dr Andrea Schöllmann said in response that Māori had a right to use matua and whaea.
"The Education and Training Act 2020 requires schools to be good employers, provide a physically and emotionally safe space for students and staff and to give effect to Te Tiriti o Waitangi," she said.
"We would expect that to meet these obligations schools would embrace te reo Māori in the classroom and allow teachers to use matua and whaea titles."
The statement represents a significant change in tone from the ministry which in March said it had no formal guidelines around the use of matua and whaea.
At the time it said schools should take a "commonsense approach ... in consultation with their teaching staff and communities".
Mitchell said he and Hutana would continue to stand up for their tikanga and what they see as right.
"At the core, it is making sure no other trainee teacher- or any teacher- have to go through the same experiences as we did."
He said they want matua and whaea to be embedded in the way kaiako (teachers) are addressed:
"And, more importantly making sure our reo and its use is normalised and part of the fabric within our education system - as our tauira (students and teachers) deserve nothing less."