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One stop news bad for Maori

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A former head of Maori Television is speaking out against plans to fund only one Maori news service.

Paora Maxwell says he’s alarmed to hear Maori broadcast funding agency Te Mangai Paho is pushing for a one-stop news-shop rather than continuing to fund TVNZ’s Te Karere, Maori Television’s Te Kaea and the Waatea radio service.

It’s avoiding the fact the Maori broadcasting sector is critically underfunded, with the $9 million pot devoted to the three services being less than half what similar indigenous broadcasters get overseas, let alone the millions spend on mainstream news and current affairs.

"I just find it to be impoverished thinking, we’ve got a few peanuts on the table, get the monkeys around it and they all scrap over them. The real issue is that Maori broadcasting is critically under-funded like every other area in society, whether you look at education initiatives for Maori, health initiatives, treaty settlements, the whole damn lot leave us with the scraps off the table really," Mr Maxwell says.

He says the notion there only be one news gatherer is racist and discriminatory against consumers of Maori news.

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