Apr 17, 2021


Maori News & Indigenous Views

American “Maori King” beer is offensive and ignorant

2 min read

Hopes that the Colorado microbrewing company Funkwerks has that they won’t offend Maori are naive, ignorant AND arrogant.

The company just released their newest product, a Belgian-style beer described as dry, fruity and spicy, with an 8% alcoholic volume, which goes by the name of Maori King.

Company co-founder Brad Lincoln told Radio New Zealand that he found out there was a Maori King only when a New Zealander walked into their bar and told them.

He says he hopes he’s not offending the Kingitanga movement, he just named a beer.

Mr Lincoln says King Tuheitia would probably enjoy the beer and he is quite happy to send him a crate of bottles.

The 750ml bottles sell for US$10 ($12) each. The brown bottles display a stylised facial moko with “Maori King” laid over the image.

Tainui executive chairman Tuku Morgan told the NZ Herald that he was deeply offended and would be contacting Funkwerks to establish a “dialogue”.

Another Kingitanga follower who heads a social service provider for Tainui people, Hori Awa, said he was disgusted with the product.

Asked if she knew the Maori king’s name – Tuheitia, Mrs Parker-Renga said she did not.

Company spokeswoman Jean Parker-Renga said she came up with the ale’s name, which pays homage to the New Zealand origin of Rakau hops used in the beer.

“We wouldn’t want to offend anyone …” W

In the short term there would be no name change because labelling had to be approved by regulators.

This kind of misappropriation of Maori words and images is not new, in the past there have been incidents with Lego,

Feel free to let the company know how you feel (Funkwerks Facebook Page)

33 thoughts on “American “Maori King” beer is offensive and ignorant

  1. And as you fuckwanks a law suit for stealing a taonga from tangata whenua o Maui Tikitki isn’t far in coming on the wind now that we have our wai 2 claims settled yes thats right if anyone uses anything Maori and makes a $ler off it you you better have a lot of because we gonna sue the ass off of you and we can prove those patterns be long to our
    race our ancestors were the only indigenous tribe that used curvilinear because they used the environment everything that they done was based on values and very unique a lot of their unique art work was of animals and birds that were only found here which have been extinct for a longtime so therefore we have been on this whenua longer then your whiteass bullshetig scientist think and as for the rest of you fuchwank fans go and learn the history of the 1st people of this land and make sure the korero is coming from a educated Maori because all the white cunts talk a lot shet all you white cunts should return to the planet of the apes motherfuckers.

    1. This is just red neck racist crap – if I were to turn the tables and refer to brown “cunts” you’d be rearing up on your hind legs wouldn’t you.

  2. @thomas L Simmons the owners of the word Moko belongs to nga tupuna,our ancestors tangata whenua of Maui Tikitki the place you call new zealand.
    The word Moko comes from the word Mokopuna meaning grandchild Moko is the ink used for tamoko facial tattoo and comes from a cocoon of a moth native to this land and that also applies to nga manu (birds) they are the rarest in the world only native to this land, the word puna meaning spring so when our ancestors saw their reflection of their Tamoko in the spring that is how they saw their grandchildren a reflection of them selves so you tell me thomas who’s stolen who’s identity, how would you like it if I took a pitcher of your grandmother and grandfathers face and tattooed it on my dogs ass and let him run around advertising dog biscuts for champ aye you fool.

  3. I’m disappointed by the level of ignorance on both sides of the fence!!!! If every culture in the world got offended by the use of it’s symbols etc, then the world wouldn’t be diverse and interesting. Everything that we use and see today is borrowed from other cultures. It makes life more interesting. Tradition is important, but it DIES if it is not shared. My honest opinion is that people need to spend more time on the positive, instead of dwelling on the past and tradition.

    IT’S TIME TO GET REAL. Is it REALLY that offensive that a beer company uses a facial pattern and the name “Maori King” ??? I personally find it 100% more offensive, that we have criminals, and useless people wearing facial tattoos in this country. When originally, the tradition was for people who were of high status, or had done something of significance. Now we have gang members and lazy losers wearing mokos. REAL TRADITIONAL, EH?

    And, unlike some of the ignorant idiots who have been saying nasty things in the comments, I am Maori myself!!!!! So there you go – surprised? For gods sake, it’s time to get with the play Maori nation… We need to start evolving, moving on, embracing our culture and focusing on the positives instead of being in the dark ages. OR WE WILL NEVER TRULY BE INDEPENDENT.

    1. Don’t tell me How I should be offend, That is your level of ignorance to carry, I don’t care what you find offensive so don’t attack what I do, are you really bringing Ta Moko into this ,WHAT FOR, I don’t really care if you identify as Maori or what ever .DO YOU IDENTIFY AS ME, or do we all have to see it your way, THEY DID IT ON PURPOSE so idiots like you could come and blame us for standing up ,you are a good tool for them

      1. You are an ignorant fool who thinks its all about what you think, Do you agree that Maori King for some is actually the British Monarch ,for some mind you not semi racists like ya self, well DO YOU. Because if you do that makes you what I like to call all sh*t oh everyone calls it that

  4. well i hope you have a lot of money its racial discrimination and this implies just that i would remove it quick and not make any slanderous remarks for you are digging a very deep hole you may not be able to get out of all the remarks you get from your peers on this sight will surely tighten the noose around your neck and you will be responsible for the outcome and your idea of pleading stupid makes it even worse you racist

  5. I think the point is, unlike European beers, Maori do not want their name or their king advertised on beer or cigarette packets because it links them to substance that Maori and other indigenous people have been struggling to overcome for decades.

    In East Asian countries using one’s name in such a way isn’t disrespectful per se, but it is faux pas. Think about the big brands. Asahi, Kirin, Hite, Cass, Sapporo, Tsingtao, Chang (Thai for elephant), Tiger… they don’t use people’s names or names of peoples. They’re using words to express something else. Of course these are Asian companies making their own brand, so they do have a right to naming them. But I bring this up because I wonder, what would Maori call their beer? I’m sure it won’t be “The Maori King.”

    Regardless of what the Colorado company intended (which is a poor argument anyway) they shouldn’t have used the image or the name without risking a reaction from Maori. I mean, if I found out that they started using faux pas imagery from the East Asian countries for Western beer – I haven’t seen any so far – then it would upset me quite a bit.

    But Maori are a minority group – an extreme minority group. They don’t have the cultural presence and in a way, prestige like East Asian countries. Maori just want to preserve what is left of their image and culture in positive light. So I think their opposition to this beer is justifiable.

    1. just a small fix: when I say prestige I don’t mean to make it sound like East Asian countries deserve it. But there seems to be this ‘ooo ahh oriental’ kind of respect that we get. It’s like walking down the street and someone asking me if I knew martial arts.

      1. I should’ve known this was u… who else could be so eloquent.. truly you are an amazing genius! and EXACTLY.. <3

  6. So a New Zealander walked into the bar and told them there was a Maori King. What New Zealnder knew this King fellow? Pays him homage? Maybe served in his entourage? Did he also tell him that a host of people in New Zealand, notably in education where they form young minds, make a point of trashing a vast collection of republics and people – of which these so very ‘arrogant’ brewers are counted as members – and call them “‘mericans’ as a pejorative? Did he? “Hey, I am a guest in your country and you and the other 310 million living here are all dirt bags and my opinion has the weight of a Papal fiat.” Yea, right. Did he tell them that New Zealanders reserve the right to post, “No Jews allowed’ in their shop windows with no legal consequences? Did he mention that entire tribes of these so very precious indigenous ‘people’ were slaughtered, enslaved, eaten and obliterated by other tribes? Did he mention that most folks in New Zealand have not got a clue what ‘arrogant’ even means? Nah. The truth here is without consequence. This is all catharisis and it is part and parcel of the New Zealand cultures.

  7. Oh puh-LEEEZZZ!!! Get a grip!!!!
    The world does not revolve around Bro Town!
    They didnt use a picture of your king. They merely used a stylised facial tattoo and called it Maori King Beer. No-one has any claim on that. Sorry, cuzzies, but theres not a chance in hell that youll be able to score any freebees or koha this time! THATs what youre REALLY pissed about: no back-handers.
    Do a bit of reading yourselves, and youll understand just how MINOR this issue is. The brewery is miniscule. Its output is tiny. The only reason weve even HEARD about this, is because its turned into a media and maori beat-up!!
    This is just like Tariana Turia getting her knickers all twisted back in June, about milk powder with a maori maidens image on the container! There IS no issue hereexcept in the minds of those in da hood, who believe nasty white honky imperialists have screwed them out of everything theyre entitled to!
    Get over your precious selves!
    This country and your people has FAR bigger problems to tackle than this!

  8. Oh my gosh — Maori — get over yourselves already. NZers just take themselves way too seriously. Be honored and grateful that someone even thought of NZ at all. We are a backward and ignorant country ourselves. We are ignorant not to be able to laugh about this…come on people, this is not the 1800’s. NZ is lame, lame, lame…..for shame, for shame, for shame that you cannot support these people for creating a beer that puts NZ on the map. If it were not for milk and Fonterra, no one would know WHO NZ is — but here we have a name, and people get offended. Get real. Wake up this is 2011 and people have to come together and stop this riduculous nonsense of getting OFFENDED over every little tiny thing. Time to love your neighbor and be good to each other.

    1. You talk of Ignorance… You’re obviously more enlightened than the rest of Aotearoa. Perhaps u should run for PM, quash all treaty claims, exile all Maori to Australia and party up on ur lonesome since the whole country is ignorant, easily offended and lucky to get international recognition for the quality of our milk and beneath your enlightened self. Pah – lease! get a clue.

      1. Now, WHY would any sensible honky exile the bros to Oz???
        We NEED slave labour!!!
        Mind you, if we DID exile you to Oz, we’d save $250-million a year which is currently WASTYED by propping up a dead language that no-one wants…AND think of all the tiriti money we’d ALSO save!!!
        Come to think it, yea…why DON’T ya all go to Oz? This country would be back in financial good books VERY quickly!!! No more bro bludgers!!!

        1. Don’t tar us all with the same brush! I am a HONKY and your comments are inflammatory and inappropriate.

          Maybe you should go to Aussie, you’d fit in there – They castrated their indigenous people, Tried to breed them out, pushed them into lives of servitude.

          Save travels

      2. u white arse need to vacate aotearoa and head back over da ditch where the rest of your convict whanau r at lest we have a culture and dont pinch land, which will end up in our hands any way little things attracts little minds if it had had a pakeha queenon the label naked then there will be a hanging power to da maori people tangata whenua and the rest go and get?????? u know what

        1. I am sorry. Don’t pinch land? OK, let’s go chat with the Solomon family from the Chathams, see how they view your perspective.

        2. see that? throw the term black arse around and see if people get upset. But make a racialist target on white folk? “Well, that’s OK, ’cause they’re white.” Get a grip. Really, there are folks here and not here who are being civil on the anti–beet label side and this sort of terminology does not help them. It is a discussion, heated, but civil. So, no thank you. Please, keep it to your self.

    2. LOL @Te Mana Kahui –

      @Renisah Helms.
      OMG – Aside from your obviously bigoted, uneducated and downright culturally insensitive slurs against the right of Maori to have ownership over their own culture, you have completely diminished the achievements of New Zealanders, both historical and modern.
      Not only are we known for our agricultural and export quality, but whi split the atom? Who was the first westerner to conquer Mount Everest? Who won the first Rugby World Cup? What about Rachel Hunter, Crowded House, Peter Jackson… The list goes on and on.

      The reality is as you spout about ignorance, you are merely illustrating your point. A hypocritical and offensive post, clearly an underthought rant from a person wanting to cause controversy, spread hate and bring shame on themselves.


      1. Hmmmm, out of that exhaustive list, did I see ANY maori names coming to the fore????? Nupe!

      2. Oh dear, here we go again. No, a New Zealander did not split the atom. That man was named Otto Hahn. The one you refer to, if you actually do know, did other things which were rather more important at the time. Meanwhile, he was also one of the hated aristocracy. (Oh, and the Webb Ellis is sort of a minor affair.)

  9. Kaati ra tena e kare ma! Funk Werks, i Anthony Williams being the P.C.A prefered class of alienee to be the representation of the Maungaturoto Waka District and all of the ancesstral entitlements of Maukoro who is the capitain of which i am being a direct descedant claim on behalf of our whanua,hapu and our waka,the following to be true and correct and i will say like many of the Rangatira/King here in New Zealand that Kingi Tuheitia isnt the only Rangatira/King here in this land called Aotearoa!! Now is the best time to think about talking to maukoro maori Incorporation about being on the same page, for if it is funk werks wishes to use any of our entitlement of Taonga Tukuiho they must consult with and follow the wishes of the owners for the records there maybe damages that funk werks may have creataed during their actioning process. however please lets remind you that there is a process for us all to work thru for a better future for us all! we await your reply! na Nga Uri Whakatipuranga o Maukoro! yours Sincerely Anthony Williams Chairman:)

  10. they should have spoken to the Board that handles Maori image use on product labels DUH!! i know you are in a far away land.. but we DO have the internet!

      1. ‘Public domain’ ? Haha

        If you saw a man walking down the street with a facial moko would you consider that something you could identify with? would you understand his reasons for wearing a moko? would you know the history of this ancient art form? Do you know anything about the extensive history of the Kingitanga movement that still lives on at Turangawaewae in Ngarawahia? ..Judging by your previous comments i think not. So don’t try and claim the moko or the Maori King as ‘public domain’ when you and many of the mainstream dominant society wouldn’t have a clue of the orgins or the importance of such things. It is not about money.Its about a fierce ignorance that is reducing a culture that i am so very proud of to a mere label of an alcoholic beverage.

        I feel sorry for you Enoch Powell, in that you have been so institutionalised by imperialistic ideologies you ignore such examples of inferential racism that this beer campaign illustrates.

        E mara, kia tuwhera ou karu – My friend, open your eyes.


        1. And where did the aforesaid moko originate? It’s aforementioned ancient origins makes an answer to that question very problematic. I take it you have a well documented paper trail showing intellectual property rights? No? Don’t really know where it is from then, eh. Might be from some tribe that was obliterated by the ancestors of those who currently claim it. Might have originated on some distant shore by a people who have long since disappeared. So, basically any claim to know the history of the ancient art form would necessarily rely on a lot of speculation. As far as you know the far distant ancestors of the Funkwerks brewers were the first to use it and it got stolen from them.

    1. Ironic that, the internet being invented by the bad guys and all. Oh, and the GPS system with the satellites that allowed the unnamed New Zealander to actually fly to the USA and thence to Fort Collins is also a part of the bad guys evil empire. Kind of puts a whole new slant on freedom of speech. Without those arrogant Americans, New Zealanders would not get a chance to tell them how arrogant they really are.

    2. and they would know this board exists, how? The hill tribes of SE Asia are better known.

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