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Ed Sheeran

Whakaruruhau head slates RNZ Maori content

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The chair of Maori radio umbrella group Te Whakaruruhau is attacking Radio New Zealand's commitment to Maori news.

Willie Jackson says the scrapping of the dedicated Manu Korihi bulletins has led to Maori stories becoming a low priority for the public broadcaster.

A 12 week audit between November and January found that out of 1440 hours of content Monday to Friday, RNZ played a mere 99 minutes of Maori content, or 0.1 percent.

Mr Jackson says he commissioned the audit in response to a challenge from RNZ's head of content, Carol Hirschfeld, that there would be even more Maori news after the cancellation of the Manu Korihi bulletins.

He says RNZ uses the presence of former Maori television staffers like Ms Hirschfeld and reporter Mihingarangi Forbes to deflect criticism.

"They're part of an organisation that over the years has really been disrespectful to Maori. They got rid of Maori language news, they got rid of Mana News, they got rid of Waatea News, then they got rid of their own news. Now all we have is we are reliant on Pakeha announcers, because there are no Maori on the frontline, we've got (Mihingarangi Forbes) there but she is not on the frontline, we're reliant on Pakeha reporters pushing out our stories and our perspective, and I don't think it's right," Mr Jackson says.

He says Maori radio must be accountable for everything it does, so it’s time for National Radio to to be accountable for the $35 million it gets each year.


Copyright © 2016, UMA Broadcasting Ltd:

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