Emotiki disagrees app is inappropriate

By Talisa Kupenga

Emotiki developers disagree the emoji app is culturally offensive to Māori following criticism the app uses tiki for satire. They also say it is acceptable to create potential emojis from images of well-known Māori. 

Annette Sykes and Dr Lance O'Sullivan have consented to be two of 25 well-known Māori faces included in the next Emotiki launch.

Te Puia elder Te Ariki Morehu says, “It's wrong to only think about well-known people. Their image should be captured so people know who they are.”

Yesterday, a Māori digital expert criticised the app's use of tiki for satire and also said the Tame Iti emoji was unacceptable because Iti was unaware it had been made.

“It was created from a concept. If Tame has a problem, he can tell us not anybody else. Regarding the tiki, everyone has their own interpretations and opinions.”

Iti says he would prefer to be consulted first and is looking to meet with Te Puia.

Project Manager Emotiki Eruera West says, "We've created a range of drafts to have a starting point to discuss with each of these leaders and unfortunately yes one of them was shown somewhere other than the app than we were intending. We only mean it as a compliment to them and we are keeping a tight hold on the rest of the range.”

Te Puia is unsure how Iti's emoji became public but Morehu is confident the process is appropriate.