The head of Samoan studies at Victoria University in Wellington is critical of the media coverage of the affairs of a Labour MP of Samoan origin, Taito Phillip Field.
Galumalemana Alfred Hunkin says there appears to be a touch of racism in the way Taito has been treated, with scant regard for cultural dimensions.
Taito is now under police investigation after a inquiry cleared him of any wrongdoing as a minister in his dealings with Thai workers.
Galumalemana says as a chief Taito has obligations in line with his position as a Samoan chief.
"Taito has given thousands of dollars to Samoan functions, to Samoan people, and fine mats of course, because of that status he has as a high chief. And it is very important that he is seen to be continuing to honour that status and that role as a matai, as a high chief."
Galumalemana Alfred Hunkin