27 Feb 2013

Te Matatini media policy off-putting - TV3

6:37 am on 27 February 2013

TV3 might not bother trying to cover the world's biggest Maori cultural festival again, due to heavy media restrictions.

Te Matatini Incorporated Society banned TV3 News for 24 hours last week from showing any pictures of the kapa haka competition after breaching an agreement between Te Matatini and host broadcaster Maori Television.

It showed 26 seconds of images from the festival stage in Rotorua, which upset the Te Matatini managing director, Darrin Apanui.

TV3 director of news and current affairs Mark Jennings said it was a chance to tell a positive Maori news story and generate wider interest in the event.

He said if his organisation is again impeded in showcasing the festival, it might not give Te Matatini any air time.

Mr Jennings said there is a big question around whether TV3 will broadcast any stories from it in the future.

He said the channel knows it's an important event within Maoridom, but if the restrictions are going to be so tough, then it just seems like a waste of time - it's better just to have nothing to do with it and let it go.


Mana Party leader Hone Harawira said in future the media guidelines should be relaxed to allow more coverage.

But he also criticised mainstream television for not reporting the results of the kapa haka festival.

He said the guidelines should not have stopped the channels broadcasting the basic results of the competition.

There was no reason why the winners could not have been announced, he said.

Mainstream media did not report anything because they didn't get what they wanted - which was mean spirited, he said.

Te Matatini did not return calls seeking comment.