A Facebook comment by NZ Police shutting down a person criticising their use of te reo in a post has gone viral.
Earlier today, a post by NZ Police on Facebook highlighted the fact that, on a recent shift, the Public Safety Team (PST) day crew in Hastings had been made up of entirely wāhine.
"Recently our Public Safety Team (PST) day shift crew in Hastings was made up of entirely wāhine," the post caption read, alongside a photo of the group of policewomen.
"We would love to see even more women in blue, if you're thinking about it head over to www.newcops.govt.nz," the post added.
Several people commented their appreciation for the work the women do.
"Great work ladies, not an easy job, I couldn't do it. Thank you for your service - respect," one Facebook user wrote.
"Thank you for your service, you brave Wāhine, so much respect for all you do," someone else said.
One Facebook user, however, took exception to the fact that police included a Māori word in the post.
"Great to see, but how about sticking to english. The Wahine was a ship," the Facebook user wrote.
New Zealand Police's response to the comment more than 4,000 likes in just a few hours.
"Ata mārie," they wrote, addressing the Facebook user by first name, before continuing: Aotearoa has three official languages, including te reo Māori and New Zealand Sign Language. 'Wāhine' is a plural noun. The ship you refer to was named TEV Wahine. Mā te wā," NZ Police added.
The comment sparked a discussion on Facebook about the fact that English is a "de facto" official language, while Māori and New Zealand Sign Language are official languages of Aotearoa.
One Facebook user also pointed out that the fact that a word is used to name a ship does not mean it cannot be used in other contexts.
"Imagine if we retired words simply because they were used on a ship. That would be weird. 'Sorry folks we have to rename our national bird because they went and named a ship the HMNZS Kiwi'," the Facebook user commented.
"There would be no Elizabeths or Marys for starters," someone else replied.
Other people praised New Zealand's "linguistic diversity" in official communications.
"As an Aussie I love and admire our NZ neighbours for embracing this type of linguistic diversity. Wish we were doing the same," a Facebook user wrote.
Linguistic debates aside, other people pointed out that, in an ideal world, the fact that the whole crew is made up of wāhine would not even be noteworthy.
"Won't it be great when this is no longer noteworthy and you no longer have to ask for women to apply, because it is a given that they will be part of the force," someone wrote.