The number of complaints about the use of te reo Māori on television has spiked in the past year.
The Broadcasting Standards Authority (BSA) said it had received 27 enquiries about the language's use since June last year – five times as many in the same period the year before. Two of these resulted in formal complaints.
In a recent decision about te reo featuring in news and current affairs programmes on TVNZ, the BSA found there were no standards issues to consider.
It declined to determine any complaints regarding the matter.
The authority said it recognises te reo Māori as an official New Zealand language and noted its use was protected and promoted by existing law.
"A complaint about the use of te reo Māori does not raise an issue of harm as envisaged by the standards." The BSA said in a statement.
Last year TVNZ 1 News reporters stepped out of their comfort zone to deliver live news in fluent te reo Māori.
Among them was TVNZ Q+A host and Newstalk ZB radio host Jack Tame who delivered a live broadcast from the US during the presidential election. He spoke entirely in te reo Māori which was broadcast on TVNZ's Māori news and current affairs programme Te Karere.
"It was a humbling experience," he said, "It was a real privilege to cover the biggest story in the world in two of New Zealand's official languages."
"I'd estimate I have received many hundreds of complaints for using Māori on radio and TV over the last few years. I don't give them a second thought.
"Māori is the original language of Aotearoa. It's an official language. It's a beautiful language.
"The more reo Māori I learn, the more I learn about Aotearoa as a whole.
"There is an appetite for reo Māori in New Zealand and although I'm a terrible student I feel very lucky to learn the language."
Tame says it is often that Te Karere reporters would cross over to assist 1 News and report in English, yet "nobody blinks an eye or complains".
He says the negative criticism towards his efforts of using te reo is drowned out by a lot of supportive feedback from viewers who enjoy it.
Kim Baker Wilson who is a TVNZ 1 News reporter also took up the challenge to deliver a story in fluent Māori, despite not having fluent knowledge.
He says there is no reason to not embrace the language.
"For people who have lodged complaints, it's time to make peace with English not being our only language."
"It's important for people to feel like they're being spoken with, to feel included, and to have a connection to what is being said and shown. Anyone who has grown up feeling separate to what is on our screens knows that feeling.
"For me there's a personal element. My mother and I are Ngāpuhi but things have been lost through the generations.
"My mother is a non-speaker, and has begged me to become fluent in te reo.
"I've always felt a huge emptiness for that part of me.
"I often think about my former colleague Māni Dunlop, who has talked openly about being censored years ago at RNZ for using te reo in a report. Our big broadcasters are not in that space now, and mine is incredibly supportive."
TVNZ Māori news reporter Yvonne Tahana says it's important for broadcasters to reflect who we are as people and as a nation, which includes te reo Māori.
"My wider view is that most New Zealanders are good people.
"Some feel left behind in terms of language and are uncomfortable with the pace of change.
"Having said that, I do have to say that for some of those who don't like te reo Māori, I have often wondered if they just don't like Māori people either."
The BSA says the use of te reo Māori is an editorial decision for broadcasters but encourages broadcasters to respond to such complaints indicating that it is not a breach of standards to broadcast in te reo Māori.