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Entertainment Earth



POHATU Has Left The Building
Posted by Purple_Dave on October 30, 2001 at 10:59 AM CST:
Last night while bouncing around LUGNET.com in search of the individual message that I linked to, I ran across something that made the PC game cancellation look like a drop in a lake. LUGNET member Enrique Durand posted a message about a news article from the Associated Press. Another LUGNET member, David Schilling, posted another message with a link to the actual article.

I read the article, and naturally I was completely stunned. Five very successful months in the US and already the BIONICLE™ line looked to be in danger of extinction. I immediately fired off an e-mail to Michael to find out the real dirt before posting it here, and this is the official statement from LEGO®:

LEGO® Company will continue BIONICLE™

Contrary to recent misunderstandings in the Danish and foreign media, the LEGO® Company will not halt production and marketing of LEGO® TECHNIC™ BIONICLE™ products.

Because the current BIONICLE™ line incorporates some words of cultural meaning to the Maori, the LEGO® Company is developing a Code of Conduct to ensure the utmost sensitivity to cultural groups. There has been a positive meeting in New Zealand, where Maori representatives have expressed interest in participating in the process.

The LEGO® Company has agreed that future products in the BIONICLE™ line will not incorporate names from any original culture, however, we did not agree to halt production of the line.

Following is a comment from Roma Hippolite, CEO Ngati Koata Trust and representative of the Maori people:

“Ngati Koata express regret that reported comments following a recent meeting between Maori groups in New Zealand and representatives of LEGO® have been incorrect. During that meeting we were advised that the LEGO® Company would withdraw the Maori names from future TECHNIC™ BIONICLE™ range of toys while at the same time continuing to market those products. We have been impressed by the willingness of LEGO® to recognise a hurt was inadvertently made, and show that in their actions. We are also excited to be able to work with such a respected multinational company to develop a Code of Conduct to recognise Maori and other indigenous interests. We feel very positive that commercial and cultural interests can exist in the world marketplace."


So, there you have it. There's no need to go hoard tons of POHATU and WHENUA sets. There will probably be a lot less use of the Maori language as a result of this, but the important thing is that the BIONICLE™ line has survived this conflict and the two sides have managed to come to a very amiable agreement, once again proving that LEGO® really is the best toy company in the world.



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