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Kiwis defend Whittaker’s rebranding after racist backlash

Kiwis defend Whittaker’s rebranding after racist backlash

You wouldn't think a name change for chocolate would cause this much outrage.

Changing the name of a block of chocolates to the original country's language doesn’t seem like a big deal...right?

Well, for some Kiwis it’s a step too far. 

Kiwi chocolate brand Whittaker’s announced on their Facebook page they will be rebranding their most popular chocolate block in celebration of Te Wiki o te Reo Māori 2022.

They'll be translating their Creamy Milk Block to te Reo Māori, Miraka Kirīmi. 

“While we’ve had this label before, this is the first time we’re making it available for Chocolate lovers in stores nationwide for a limited time!” the post said. 

However, it seems a few Kiwis are not on board with Whittaker’s name change.

The move has generated a lot of backlash from those who don’t agree with the company supporting te Reo Māori. 

Right-wing blogger Cameron Slater tweeted out: “Go woke, go broke… see ya @whittakersNZ."

Many were quick to defend the company against the backlash and calling haters out for their racism and lack of care towards the native language. 

One person wrote: “Imagine being so racist that you’re triggered by a chocolate block. Time to go buy a whole lot of Whittaker’s.”

Another tweeted: “Thanks for the reminder that I need to buy more Whittakers! Unbelievable the number of racists a**hats losing their minds over a Kiwi company using one of the official languages of Aoteatoa on their packaging.” 

Many have also pointed out the hypocrisy in the backlash stating they don’t hear anyone complaining about te Reo Māori when they get a day off work for Matariki, or refusing to eat or drink anything that are pronounced in a different language. 

One person wrote: “And I guess lots of folk will also be giving up pinot gris, champagne, sauvignon blanc, sushi, lasagne, spaghetti bolognaise, wontons, and pretty much any curry ever because they aren’t in english either.” 

Another supporter has gone as far as to photoshop Whittaker’s white chocolate bar with an alternative title 'white fragility' calling out all those who are offended with the name change.

Those who support the brand’s decision of the translation are hoping that it becomes a permanent change in the near future.

The translated Whittaker’s bars will be released in stores nationwide on the 22nd August for a limited time only, however there are some stores that have already released the blocks so Kiwis can get their hands on them early. 

Words by Millie Hinchliffe

Featured Image Credit: Whittaker’s

Topics: News