Wednesday October 14, 2015   Last updated 11:57AM

On Air Now | Radio Waatea

11:30am - 12:00pm
Waitangi Day
Getty Images.

Share to Email
Share to RSS
Share to Print

Opinion: Another Waitangi Day has come and gone and yet again most of the mainstream media has performed abysmally.

That of course is apart from John Tamihere and me who presented a three-hour show on Radio Live and Hugh Barlow from National Radio who produced an excellent two-hour show on the day with no mention of Titewhai Harawira.

The obsession that the media has with Titewhai particularly around Waitangi Day borders on unhealthy.

You would think there was nothing else happening at Waitangi given the over-the-top coverage of who would escort Prime Minister John Key on to the marae.

While I wouldn't exactly describe Titewhai as a "gentle old lady", which was how Mr Key described her, I certainly wouldn't vilify her the way that mainstream media does.

Titewhai is no angel and she and I have had our disagreements over the years but she is person who deserves much more credit for the contribution she has made in advancing the Māori cause.

At 81 she is still as sharp as she was 20 years ago.

She continues to take no prisoners when she criticises people - whether they be Pakeha or Māori. Her acidic tongue is legendary.

She abhors racism and the way Māori have been treated historically in this country and refuses to accept the way some Māori men treat their women.

She has been a huge critic of the treatment of Māori women on her marae and this was some of the background to what was happening this year.

The fight about who was going to escort the prime minister wasn't just some sort of catfight or granny fight as mainstream media would have had you believe.

It was about shutting down Titewhai who has exposed, and continues to threaten to expose, the sexism and abuse of some of the men on her marae.

There is still resentment towards her because she stopped Labour leader Helen Clark from speaking on the marae in 1998.

Titewhai's view was Māori women aren't allowed to talk so why should a Pakeha woman be given priority over them?

That makes perfect sense to me but she was condemned by mainstream media and the public.

However she received huge support from Māori women and leaders like Tariana Turia who at the time was a Labour MP.

The anger to that stand from Titewhai is still evident and it's a shame that the media were too useless to give some context and background to what was really happening this year.

That aside, I thought it was a wonderful day.

There were 30,000 people at Waitangi for the occasion and more and more are starting to celebrate around the country.

That will get even better once our lazy media picks up its game.


Post comment:

Will not be published

Maximum of 1750 characters (about 300 words)
In order to assist us in reducing spam, please type the characters you see:
spam control image
I have read and accepted the terms and conditions

These comments are moderated. Your comment, if approved, may not appear immediately. Please direct any queries about comment moderation to
ShakeOut-Static-Banner-300x250Discover-a-Bright-Future-Rectangle-Banner-300x250 (1)
DMI Maori-Radio Banner

Professor Jane Kelsey on Paakiwaha with Willie Jackson
Opponent of the TPPA Professor Jane Kelsey says the TPPA is not good for Maori
Dr Alex MacMillan on Paakiwaha with Willie Jackson
Dr Alex Macmillan from Te Ora Taiao about 16 health professional groups call for healthy climate action in NZ
MWWL President Prue Kapua on Paakiwaha with Willie Jackson
Another successful conference for the Maori Womens Welfare Legaue. President of the organisation Prue Kapua gives a review of how the conference was and some of the decisions the group came to
Christine Brears on Paakiwaha with Willie Jackson
Christine Brears from the Kokiri Trust in Taumarunui will be heading to parliament. They believe they have a model that will benefit all people within the pirnciples of Whanau Ora
Andrew Little on Paakiwaha with Willie Jackson
The Labour leader talks with Willie Jackson on the 5 bottom lines his party has regarding the TPPA
Keith Ikin | Maniapoto 2050
Maniapoto will launch a nationwide consultation at the end of October to seek input from iwi members into the future direction of the King Country based tribe.Maniapoto chairman Tiwha Bell said the consultation - one of the largest ever undertaken by the Maniapoto Māori Trust Board - was timely following elections to the 15 member board in June.“Maniapoto deputy chairman Keith Ikin said the consultation will involve 10 Hui-a-iwi - five within the Maniapoto rohe and five at other major centres throughout Aotearoa, where large numbers of Maniapoto iwi live.
Dr David Williams | Remembering 40 years since 1975 Maori land march
Dr David Williams looks back t the 1975 Moair Land March that he participated i. A special exhibition is being held in Wellington to mark the event
Kim Webby | The Price of Peace
Film maker Kim Webby is headng to the Toronto Indigenous Film Festival taking with her The Price of Peace about the Tuhoe Raids of 2007
All Blacks on target?
WILLIE JACKSON: Tonga have proved to be the perfect test for an All Blacks side who have been struggling at the Rugby World Cup.
Maori Women Leadership Support Chris Brown
WILLIE JACKSON: I was extremely proud last week when some of Maoridoms top women leaders came out in a press conference held at my Marae Nga Whare Waatea to express their support for the singer Chris Brown.
Our flip flop Prime Minister.
WILLIE JACKSON:I used to call my mate John Tamihere a flip flop. If I said it was black, he’d say it was white, even after calling it black himself. If I said it was up, he’d say it was down. If I said it was Labour, he’d counter by saying it was National.
p waateap listenp podcastp rssp facebookp twittercontactus




To receive regular updates from Waatea News.