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.

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Radio NZ pulls the plug on Waatea but we can tune in elsewhere for our special view of the world

May 12, 2011

Alf will miss the Waatea News bulletins from Radio New Zealand.

They are being scrapped – along with a couple of grand pianos – as part of the state broadcaster’s desperate efforts to operate within its budget.

But Waatea News is not being shut down and silenced as a consequence of this move.

Those of us whose ethnocentricity compels us to distinguish Maori science from science, Maori sport from sport, and Maori news from news can plug into Maori radio stations for our news fix.

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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.

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