Mum Blows Whistle on te reo Tool

Maori Dictionary’s author rewrites negative reference for ‘policeman’ after complaint from parent. Lee Baker saw the entry while teaching her son Alex. Photo / Christine Cornege
Lee Baker saw the entry while teaching her son Alex. Photo / Christine Cornege

Look up “policeman” in an online Maori dictionary and you used to find a suggestion that police carrying warrants should be “kicked in the backside” and thrown out.

John Moorfield, author of maoridictionary.co.nz, admitted the sentence appealed to his warped sense of humour – but has now changed it, after a complaint.

That came from Lee Baker, who was helping her son Alex, 4, learn te reo and was surprised with what she found in the online dictionary when he asked her what the Maori word for policeman was.

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