'Sniff test' - Aussie newspaper under fire over 'insensitive' caption of Duchess of Sussex hongi pic

Australian newspaper The Courier Mail has caused a stir after captioning a photo of the Duchess of Sussex being greeted with a hongi in Wellington as a "sniff test".

The Brisbane-based paper also headlined an article on the royals' arrival in Wellington: "NZ really nose how to welcome royal cuzzies".

The hongi is a traditional Māori greeting where both parties press their noses and foreheads together in an embrace.

University of Waikato associate professor at the faculty of Māori and Indigenous Studies, Tom Roa, called the comments made in the paper "insensitive and inappropriate".

"They might have an audience that consider it funny, but I don't find it funny in the least," Professor Roa told the NZ Herald.

"If I'm unkind, I could say they show more than an ignorance - it's insensitive and inappropriate."

Brisbane-based newspaper Courier Mail captioned a photo of the Duchess of Sussex in a hongi as a 'sniff test'. Source: Courier Mail