The other side of Aotearoa by underground

If you stay on a Marae you may realise a few things. Firstly, there are some traditional Maori values Pakeha could do well to adopt, such as hospitality, respect, appreciation and a sense of community. In our individualistic society such values have been long forgotten. Secondly, our media does an adequate job depicting Maori as lazy, violent and corrupt, which is unfair and cruel. Finally you should marvel at the tikanga, the art and traditional waiata, which are worth all efforts to preserve, as promised in article two of the Treaty of Waitangi. To the red necks and racists who turn there nose up at any reference to the treaty and stereotype Maori, I can only pity your ignorance.

Last Thursday, as part of AUT’s Graduate Diploma in Journalism and Bachelor of Communications courses, students were taken to Hoani Waititi Marae for two days and one night. The aim of the trip was to learn about the protocol of a Marae, be introduced to Maori culture and to hold a hui where guests were invited to discuss Maori affairs reporting and media coverage of Maori issues.

Although I disagree with the speaker who argued that any story could and even should have a Maori angle, I appreciate the opinion from most speakers that Maori are all too often depicted negatively in the media. Unfortunately, too many Pakeha and non Maori have misperceptions of Maori, and much of this is probably due to poor representation of Maori in the media. Arguably having more Maori in the industry could help remedy this problem, however, it should be sufficient to educate all journalists in how they can report these stories impartially, factually and without bias. There ideally should not need to be “Maori reporters”, as Maori issues should be understood by all New Zealanders. Hopefully one nights stay at a Marae will be sufficent for this year’s graduates to competently report stories on Maori without prejudice or misinformation.

Having focused on media reporting of Maori issues at the hui, I will take a particular interest in how the media covers ethnic issues in this year’s election. Considering the success Brash got from his Orewa speech prior to the last election, and Winston Peters’ desperate tendency to play the race card, there will almost certainly be the opportunity for the media to misrepresent Maori before election day!


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I just added a lot of additional stuff to this post, and then the computer did some sort of thing, and it’s gone! Oh well, less for you to read I suppose, just imagine I added something typically profound and act amazed!


Here’s the rest!

Comment by undergroundnetwork

[…] The other side of Aotearoa […]

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