TVNZ should be grateful for kapa haka deal with Maori TV – but public funding raises some questions

February 15, 2013
We deserve to be spared from this, too.

We deserve to be spared from this, too.

The people at TVNZ’s Te Karere should stop bleating about being squeezed out of next week’s national kapa haka championships by organisers who struck an exclusive deal with Maori Television.

So far as this observer is concerned, Te Karere has been done a favour.

If it can’t screen hapa haka, Alf is more likely to watch whatever else it does screen.

Read the rest of this entry »

Maori broadcasters are on a heritage mission – obviously – in travelling back to Norway

March 27, 2012

But would these beasts have gone the same way as the moa?

The tosser at a blog called Reading the Maps recently mocked Noel Hilliam, the retired farmer from Dargaville

… who has become infamous, over the past quarter century, for making a series of bizarre claims about New Zealand history.

Over the years Hilliam has discovered a Viking city in the forests north of Dargaville, Spanish ships in the sandy mouth of Kaipara Harbour, a Nazi submarine filled with gold in the Tasman Sea, and the skeletons of an ancient tribe of giant white people in remote caves.

Again and again, Hilliam has failed to produce evidence for his sensational claims, and faced ridicule. Again and again, he has presented gullible journalists with new fantasies.


Hilliam is on the button with that stuff about Vikings.

If it was rubbish, Maori Television would not have sent five executives to an indigenous broadcasters’ conference in the far north of Norway.

The top brains at Maori Television are as fiscally sensitive as anyone here in Parliament.

They can come up with bloody good cultural explanations for whatever spending is involved.

They know – as Alf does and as Hilliam does – that the indigenous people of this country have Viking blood pumping through their veins.

Read the rest of this entry »

Law and order riddle: how can you be shot in a pub in July after getting three months jail in June?

July 23, 2011

Alf can’t wait for the screening of the Native Affairs programme in which members of the Ratahi family “share their story”. He expects they will do a great deal of bitching about what everybody should have done for the late Anthony Ratahi without much acknowledging their own shortcomings.

The late Anthony Ratahi, of course, is the bloke who was shot by the coppers after he took his former partner Marcelle Beer hostage at gunpoint in an Opunake hotel last weekend.

According to an early account of the hostage incident –

On Friday night, armed with a gun, Ratahi walked into the Headlands Hotel where he ordered staff and patrons out before he barricaded himself and Ms Beer inside. She works there as a waitress. Twelve hours later he emerged with a knife before going back into the foyer where he was killed by a single police gunshot.

Holding a female hostage is a dastardly way to behave, of course.

Ordering patrons out of a pub is more than a tad uncivilized, too, and should be an offence in its own right.

But hold on.

Shouldn’t he still have been in the slammer?

Read the rest of this entry »

A thought for Pene – if the people who need rescuing aren’t Maori, what then?

March 10, 2011

But if it's not a Maori dog, shouldn't we leave it for someone else to rescue?

There’s a New Zealand rugby team, the All Blacks. So Maori wanted their own team, the Maori All Blacks.

New Zealand has a public broadcasting corporation, TVNZ. So Maori demanded and got their own TV corporation, Maori Television.

New Zealand has a government broadcasting funding agency, NZ On Air, which invests your money and mine in a range of local television, radio, music and new media content “to extend choices for New Zealand audiences”. Oh, and NZ on Air has a Maori Innovation fund ($1 million) for the creation of innovative, primetime Māori television programmes. Applications close 5pm, 15 April. But sure enough, Maori wanted their own funding agency and so we have Te Mangai Paho which makes funding available (your money and mine) to the national network of Maori radio stations and for the production of Maori language television programmes, radio programmes and music CDs.

We have Sportsman (and Sportswoman) of the Year Awards open to all. And so, inevitably, Maori had to have their own sports awards (non-Maori keep out).

We have elections at which all New Zealanders can vote in general electorates. But then there’s a cluster of Maori seats in which your eligibility to vote is determined by your ethnicity.

Yep. You’ve got to be one of our special indigenous people to vote in these electorates.

We have a civil defence force that has been doing a splendid job in the aftermath of the Christchurch earthquake. And so – it had to happen – some bugger has popped up to suggest it’s time for a Maori civil defence force.

Read the rest of this entry »

The UN declaration – it wasn’t a secret (but you got to hear first if you were “special” and worked for Maori TV)

April 23, 2010

Alf was interested in a parliamentary question put by Labour’s Annette King yesterday. She wanted to know on what date Cabinet decided to support the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and what Cabinet believed the impact of such a decision would be.

The answer from Bill English, acting PM, was that Cabinet made the decision to support the declaration on 22 March.

He went on:

The statements made to this House and to the UN accurately reflect Cabinet’s view that this is a non-binding, aspirational document.

The Government has affirmed that New Zealand’s existing legal and constitutional frameworks will define the bounds of the influence of the declaration.

Read the rest of this entry »

Mallard in a muddle again

October 3, 2009

(as dictated to Mrs Grumble)

Trevor Mallard yet again has demonstrated why he rates among the great plonkers of politics.

He has issued a silly media statement headed Government drops ball on Rugby World Cup

The statement was prompted by the Herald’s report that Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples has given his blessing for Te Puni Kokiri to sink up to $3 million into Maori Television to support its bid for the free-to-air rights to broadcast the Cup.

Read the rest of this entry »