Our big chance to flock to Te Reo commentaries

October 14, 2009

It looks like the nation is being given a splendid opportunity to express the strength of its enthusiasm for part-Maori rugby commentaries. Or not.

We will be able to cast our votes by tuning into an all-English broadcast – or by opting for broadcasts which include a 5-10% smattering of Te Reo.

The chance to cast these votes is about the only good that comes from the shambles of the battle to win free-to-air Rugby World Cup broadcast rights.

Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples is kicking up a fuss this morning about the gazzumping of the Maori Television Service’s attempt to secure the rights. But let’s face it – he contributed to the shambles by failing to mention to Cabinet colleagues his approval of the spending of $3m of Te Puni Kokiri money for the Maori service to secure the bid.

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Answer no and you’ll be accused of racism

October 10, 2009

The Herald asks a silly question today, apropos the fuss over Maori Television Service’s bid – buttressed by $3 million of your money and mine – to secure free-to-air broadcasting rights for the Rugby World Cup.

The question is: Would you be happy to watch Rugby World Cup games on Maori TV?

Answer no, and there’s a fair chance you’ll be branded a racist.

Anyway, being “happy” about watching the games on Maori TV is not the point.

Let’s put the question a different way.

Should the free-to-air broadcasting rights go to

* A TV channel which will finance its bid with $3 million of tax money (your dosh and mine) and then require you to get a rudimentary grip on another language to understand all of the commentary? Or

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Pita goes down in rugby maul

October 5, 2009

(as dictated to Mrs Grumble)
Pita Sharples is a bloke with an aptitude for falling into a political mire by talking before thinking. Remember the bullshit about giving Maori kids an easy ride into our universities?

Sharples is in danger of sinking deep into more shit on the idea of Maori Television Service coverage of the Rugby World Cup, as a statement he issued today virtually concedes.

“It’s a pity the bid has attracted controversy, but I am well prepared to discuss the merits of the case with the Prime Minister and other stakeholders…”

But he’s a stubborn bastard, and he’s sticking to his support for the MTS bid for Rugby World Cup broadcast rights. He reckons it’s “a golden opportunity for Maori and the nation, which MTS and Te Puni Kokiri are right to seize…”

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