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Six60 Call Out Australian TV Host Over te reo Māori Rant

Sky News host Rowan Dean questioned the use of te reo Māori on the band’s tour posters, saying there was a “big push to be more inclusive of the Māori” in New Zealand.



What do you do if you’re unexpectedly criticised by someone for using the Indigenous language of your home country? If you’re Six60, you show up the perpetrator by offering them free tickets.

The Kiwi pop rock band were surprisingly drawn into a Sky News segment on ‘language officers’ this week, with Australian host Rowan Dean insisting that has been a “big push to be more inclusive of the Māori” and “Māori language” in New Zealand.

Dean then showed a tour poster for Six60 – or “sixty sixty” as he disparagingly called them – saying “it’s all in Māori, there’s not a word of English anywhere in there.”

Six60 took to social media to respond to Dean. “We got called out for putting te reo on our poster, saying it’s against free speech. SIX60 is all about bringing people together, no matter the language,” they captioned the post.

The accompanying video opened with a clip of Dean’s Sky News segment, followed by footage of the band’s concerts featuring Māori performers. “Free tickets to this guy if he wants to experience some positivity,” the caption added.

And despite being so publicly called out, the conservative commenter refused to apologise to Six60, telling 1News that he had “invited them onto my show when they come to Sydney.”

If Mr. Dean wants to catch Six60 live, he’ll have an opportunity to do so shortly. Following two more home country shows in Rotorua and Auckland, the band head to Australia to perform in Melbourne and Sydney next month (find full dates here).

Six60 are touring in support of their fourth album, Castle St, which lead singer Matiu Walter said is their “greatest work to date.” Castle St became the band’s fourth consecutive album to top the New Zealand Album Chart.

Earlier this year, Six60 won the award for Best Single (“Pepeha”) at the inaugural Panhead Rolling Stone New Zealand Awards. They saw off strong competition from the likes of international superstar Lorde (“Solar Power”) and BROODS (“I Keep”) to collect the award.