Management for the K-Pop band NCT 127 have apologised for not consulting Māori before using a haka in their latest music video.
Stuff reported last week that Tūhoe lecturer Karlite Rangihau was offended by the group's use of a traditional Māori haka in their new video, Simon Says.
In an email to Rangihau, Emily Oh from SM Entertainment, who manages the South Korean group, said they used the haka because of its "uplifting words".
"We apologise if any offence was taken regardless of our intentions. "We really understand and appreciate your concern and opinion," the email said.
NCT 127 is a popular 10-member group formed in 2016. Simon Says is the lead single on their album Regulate.
Their music video for Simon Says samples three seconds of a haka at the beginning and ends with the defiant line "we don't pay no attention".
Oh said they took the sample from a wedding video they found online and sought permission from the Māori couple who owned it.
She also said they tried their best to find the original meaning of the haka so they could make a connection with the group's message.
Rangihau says management should have sought permission from iwi, not individuals.
"Traditional haka are tribally owned. I'm mindful that the wedding couple may not understand the traditional procedures around these customary practises."
The K-Pop video is one of a long list of acts and media adopting Māori culture into their work. In the past the haka and moko have been used to sell products including energy drinks and German cars.
But Rangihau, a lecturer in the Masters of Indigenous Knowledge course at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa and a leading filmmaker, is grateful SM Entertainment has reached out.
"It gives me hope that the industry and people in promotion and marketing of these groups can be a bit more conscious and aware of the appropriation of cultures."
Legal commentator Haylee Putaranui says whenever commercial companies take videos and photos from the internet, legal proceedings are unlikely.
"It's the enforcement part that people struggle with. Deep pockets will always win. All of those threads lead to resource, money and time."
SME owning up to their own wrong doing and apologizing....2018 is rly weird