The Dim-Post

October 27, 2015

Maori TV and the mediapocalypse

Filed under: Uncategorized — danylmc @ 8:22 am

QuoteUnquote has an overview of the latest Wintec Press Club’s (notorious) luncheon featuring  Mihingarangi Forbes and Annabelle Lee as guest speakers:

Forbes and Lee’s main topic was the series of programmes they made about the finances of the Kohanga Reo National Trust Board, starting with A Question of Trust (September 2013).
That turned out to be “a release valve for frustration”, with many viewers asking for investigation into all sorts of Maori organisations.
Both women send their children to kohanga reo, so know the organisation at ground level. Lee described it as “endless working bees and fundraisers” in contrast with what happens at the top.
After the next story, Feathering the Nest (October 2013), they received threats, Native Affairs was banned from Turangawaewae, people booked to come on the show “unbooked” themselves. “How dare these girls challenge their rangatira?” was the reaction from the usual male suspects: Derek Fox, Willie Jackson, John Tamihere, Dale Husband. “We’re female, we’re younger than them.” Fancy that, old blokes being sexist.
Both said how much they appreciated the support they’d had from the mainstream media, singling out the Herald’s David Fisher and especially TV3’s Tova O’Brien who would ask questions on their behalf when the kohanga reo people wouldn’t let them in to a press conference.
Forbes said that Maori Television wouldn’t show the final programme: “Yeah, and that’s basically why I quit.”
At the end, Steve Braunias said, “The elephant in the room is Maori TV. Man up and tell us – what the fuck happened?”
Forbes replied that after Julian Wilcox was replaced by Paora Maxwell, “I didn’t want to be there any more. I hated it.”
What happened at Maori TV is one of the most clear-cut cases of establishment censorship imaginable. Journalists started asking uncomfortable questions; the establishment got angry and imposed a new leader on the organisation who shut everything down. There’s a hell of a book in there. (The lack of public outrage is, presumably because mainstream New Zealand doesn’t really care what happens in Maori institutions).
It’s also a reminder to progressives – who advocate for more public-funded media in response to the collapse of the commercial media model – that state-funded media has its own problems.

20 Comments »

  1. Yes to this. Every. Bleeping. Word.

    Comment by robhosking — October 27, 2015 @ 8:26 am

  2. The lack of public outrage is, presumably because mainstream New Zealand doesn’t really care what happens in Maori institutions

    The censorship at Maori television was the single issue that finally determined my vote at the last election.

    Comment by Graeme Edgeler — October 27, 2015 @ 9:29 am

  3. Minor things. It’s not “(notorious)”, just an event. And Stephen Stratford claims I said “Man up”! I didn’t.

    Comment by Steve Braunias — October 27, 2015 @ 9:37 am

  4. The other untold story is actually the way Te Reo is taught, or not taught. https://kmccready.wordpress.com/2013/12/30/taking-the-guesswork-out-of-learning-te-reo/

    Comment by kmccready — October 27, 2015 @ 9:55 am

  5. “…What happened at Maori TV is one of the most clear-cut cases of establishment censorship imaginable…”

    That and the reaction in the UK establishment media to Jeremy Corbyn.

    You don’t see the consensus in all of its suffocating conformity until someone challenges it and then – boy, it is about as subtle as a sledgehammer.

    Comment by Sanctuary — October 27, 2015 @ 10:25 am

  6. Meh. This is the bread and butter of this Government. Who cares? Nobody. The Herald’s reporters regularly have their OIAs delayed by six months, and can’t even get the *titles* of the reports they’re requesting.

    If I were you I’d stop complaining. There’s no point, this is how government is done in New Zealand now.

    Comment by Moses — October 27, 2015 @ 10:30 am

  7. Yes, agree, but with a minor caveat. For Maori TV it’s basically a generational thing rather than a political thing and is changing over time. The older generation come from a time when to air an argument in the wider Pakeha world was both shameful and often dangerous. Thats no excuse for a long time media professional like Derek Fox who in his day has done plenty of the journalism he wants shut down. Nor Willie Jackson or John Tamihere, who are unscrupulous in using the genre for their own ends when it suits, but there are plenty of other Maori of the same generation and older – male and female – who find Native Affairs a parody of what they would regard as Pakeha tabloid current affairs. For me, the great thing about a show like Native Affairs and for all its faults is that it is Maori reporting on Maori institutions and, when the story works, making them accountable. While there might be a male/female thing going on with Maori TV its not necessarily typical of the wider Maori world. The largest iwi – Tainui, Ngai Tahu and Ngati Porou – have all had or have female CEs, as does the most traditional, Tuhoe.

    Comment by Tinakori — October 27, 2015 @ 10:40 am

  8. (The lack of public outrage is, presumably because mainstream New Zealand doesn’t really care what happens in Maori institutions).

    Mainstream New Zealanders have done well to learn this lesson.

    Comment by unaha-closp — October 27, 2015 @ 11:30 am

  9. Do they start their news bulletins with “Go the ABs!”? Because that’s journalism.

    Comment by sammy 3.0 — October 27, 2015 @ 3:14 pm

  10. mainstream New Zealand doesn’t really care what happens in Maori institutions

    “Not care”, or just fatigue-induced apathy? It happened before with the Pipi Foundation, we see it happening again. A government needs a support party so funding becomes a pinata. You can’t blame mainstream NZ for resigning themselves to the sense of inevitability.

    Comment by herr doktor bimler — October 27, 2015 @ 3:44 pm

  11. LABOUR ARE For Maori TV it’s basically a generational thing rather than a political thing and is changing over time. The older generation come from a time when to air an argument in the wider Pakeha world was both shameful and often dangerous.

    Ever so slowly the noble savages are raised from the primeval slime. Perish the thought that there’s anything political driving these savage innocents, eh what?

    Both major parties have long actively cultivated the feudal aspect of Maori politics. Labour have been every bit as guilty of this as National. Like Helen Clark’s Foreshore & Seabed debacle, Paora Maxwell’s appointment is a crude move by anything other than third world standards, yet the old guard are banking on it effectively quashing the rise of an independently minded Maori middle class that threatens their cosy status quo. Because this is happening under a National Government, Maxwell’s enabler Georgina Te Heuheu is simply perpetuating the kind of entrenched mutual back-scratching that ensures the spoils remain within the feudal family connections.

    Comment by Joe W — October 27, 2015 @ 4:55 pm

  12. “Both major parties have long actively cultivated the feudal aspect of Maori politics”

    Translating that means both parties have to deal with what they find in the Maori world. Wow, who’d have thought……

    “……yet the old guard are banking on it effectively quashing the rise of an independently minded Maori middle class that threatens their cosy status quo.”

    You can’t quash what you can’t control and MTS, including both forms of Native Affairs, reflects not determines its audiences. Demographics, the education system and the economy determine the rise of an independent Maori middle class. They’ll also be independent of you too, Joe.

    Comment by Tinakori — October 27, 2015 @ 11:01 pm

  13. The Maori elite is very powerful, and they along with the Maori Party have been seriously compromised/rewarded by the National Party. Just look at their behaviour over slave fishing allegations.

    Comment by Sandra — October 28, 2015 @ 12:28 am

  14. They’ll also be independent of you too, Joe.

    Fucked if I know what that’s supposed to mean. Kindly understand that I don’t have any skin in this game, apart from the kind of “public outrage” that Danyl mentions in seeing the last independent public broadcaster effectively nobbled by vested interests.

    Comment by Joe W — October 28, 2015 @ 1:23 am

  15. When you have a political position – doesn’t really matter what it’s about or what the position is – you generally believe that that position reflects reality, and that the only reason somebody would disagree is stupidity, wilful blindness, vested interests or all three. It follows that you believe an intelligent and independent commentator would, after fair-minded investigation, come to a position that supports your view, since again, that’s what reality reflects.

    This is why, when a neutral or independent person endorses our views, we don’t tend to see it as a violation of their neutrality. But when they endorse somebody else’s views, partisanship is the only possible explanation, since no fair-minded independent person would ever come to hold such a view.

    Comment by kalvarnsen — October 28, 2015 @ 6:13 am

  16. Mediapocalypse is a bit harsh, don’t you think Danyl? The media don’t report on any story they don’t find interesting.

    For example, Simon Bridges is pushing a $1billion road in Onehunga, largely for benefit of two freight companies – one of whom has a peak vehicle movement of just 38 per hour. Yet there is hardly a single story about it. Some people fucking inflatable cows on the taxpayers account is far more compelling.

    http://transportblog.co.nz/2015/10/27/east-west-and-gloucester-park-interchange/

    Comment by George D — October 28, 2015 @ 8:32 am

  17. “It’s also a reminder to progressives – who advocate for more public-funded media in response to the collapse of the commercial media model – that state-funded media has its own problems”

    Perfectly correct, and well said.

    I don’t agree with any state media at all for the reasons that media outlets are always going to be captured by a political viewpoint and press that viewpoint no matter whether private or public. Its better then that taxpayer funds are not used for this purpose as they will invariably find themselves contributing to a propaganda outlet.

    As has clearly happened with Maori TV. As has happened with RNZ. As has happened with BBC.

    If public broadcasters are not going to tell the truth, and are going to censor information on a political basis, then what on earth is the point in having them?

    Its worse with Maori TV of course. That any taxpayer money is distributed on a racial basis is bad enough, but for it to be used for race based propaganda is even worse. I despise the National Party for funding Maori TV, but of course Labour wouldn’t be any different. They’re always just as happy as National to exploit race issues for political gain.

    That’s big government socialism for you. Virtually unlimited funds (we’re $100 billion in debt and funding state broadcasters???) and as as corrupt as they can be. Kudos to the 1 million voters who each election have more dignity and integrity than to be part of this hollow scam.

    Comment by Redbaiter — October 28, 2015 @ 10:11 am

  18. “For Maori TV it’s basically a generational thing rather than a political thing and is changing over time.”

    This isn’t true. It’s a question of power rather than age. There are those who have it – the Kohanga board, the Maori TV board and so on – and those who don’t – the journalists who work (or used to) at Native Affairs.

    That’s not to say those journalists were powerless – they had a leading current affairs show, that’s a pretty powerful medium – but they were still subject to the power of the Maori TV board and management (which was influenced by the Kohanga board and its gormless supporters). The people who held the institutional power weren’t happy with what they saw as the troublesome upstarts at Native Affairs.

    I said as much on Morning Report and Media Take when Mihingaranghi and Annabelle resigned earlier this the year. Curiously, my invites to the station have dried up.

    M

    Comment by Morgan Godfery — October 28, 2015 @ 11:28 am

  19. “Curiously, my invites to the station have dried up.”

    Well, that’s no surprise. Guest commenters I would assume are meant to add something worthwhile to the debate. Pointing out that the board and management have “power” would seem to be a pretty dumb comment. That’s why boards and management exist.

    If you’re suggesting that a station run on taxpayer money should be run on anarchist lines then its even dumber. You want to run an anarchist business organisation, especially one based around race differences, then do it on your own dime, not mine.

    Comment by Redbaiter — October 29, 2015 @ 12:39 pm

  20. I am late to this, and thanks for the link Danyl, but Steve Braunias denies my report that he said “Man up.” I take notes at these events and recorded this because he said it to two women, which we all thought was quite funny. He might not remember it, but he did say it.

    Comment by Stephen Stratford — November 6, 2015 @ 6:47 pm


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