The mother of a little girl whose name was shortened by teachers because it was too hard to pronounce says she is stunned by how many others have had to deal with the same issue.
Paris Tautu spoke out about her daughter Mahinarangi's experience on Sunday saying her name was shortened to Rangi at daycare and is mispronounced at school - something that had a deep effect on the 5-year-old.
Her story has been picked up globally after resonating with thousands of people, not just Māori, who have experienced the same thing.
"I was well aware that this was an important issue, however I was not aware of the magnitude of people that have had to deal with this same struggle," Tautu said.
Mahinarangi took social media by a storm as thousands reflected on the past of their grandparents who were from a generation where te reo Māori was beaten out of them to fit the colonial societal norm.
One of the responses to the Herald was from Chante Jordan-Rose Connor, who said: "My grandmother is 86 years old. Her Māori name is Whakarongotai and it was changed to Rose at her school. My daughter was born in 2010, I asked my Nan if my daughter can carry her Māori name. My Nan said, "I don't think that's wise, she will get teased at kura and hit for speaking te reo." I told my Nan this is not the case any more, you can speak te reo at school now.
"The sad thing about this kōrero is that my Nan still had that perspective till that day in 2010. She's still alive today, and loves hearing her Māori name."
In a recent interview with Māori Television's Te Ao with Moana, NZ comedian Jemaine Clement, he also reflected on his grandmother's past who he said was beaten for speaking her first language. The story led him to tears.
Tautu said she received a lot of racist and colonial-minded comments but says it was to be expected and that what's important is that Māori and any indigenous culture reclaim their reo.
"What got me the most was the Māori people who reached out. So many have had their whānau banned from speaking te reo many years ago and have struggled to bring it back.
"A lot of people messaged me to talk about how they have shortened their names to make it easier for others and it just seemed normal to them, but now they see it has an impact on tamariki today.
"They said they will think twice before letting someone call them something other than their name. They speak about how "normal" it was, but we need to make a new normal by calling people what they want to be called."
Tautu says she's printed out certain items from social media comment sections which have been uplifting to read, and says this will be a "taonga" for Mahinarangi.
"I hope it will give her the mana to continue to fight for her rights and to defend her culture."