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Maori Council takes on TVNZ to stop fire sale

The New Zealand Maori Council has asked the Ministers for Broadcasting and State Owned Enterprises to intervene and stop the sale and licensing of Television New Zealand’s archive to Getty Images. Council Executive Director, Matthew Tukaki, has called the move to sell the stories and content of Maori as a clear breach of both Tikanga and the Treaty and has indicated quite strongly that at no point should Maori content be made available for sale when there has been no or little consultation with Maori:

“This is just simply an absolute travesty, an insult and a complete afront to the very being of who we are. Our stories and our content should not be up for sale to a global corporation who are then just going to try and sell it back to us! Whoever even thought that was a good idea needs schooling in the obligations all State Owned Enterprises and Crown Agencies have in terms of the Treaty. Those stories and that content were collected over more than fifty years, our old people would be rolling in their graves if they knew their stories were up for sale” Tukaki has said

“This is yet another example of how absolutely out of control these State Owned Enterprises and Government Agencies are. To be frank, no New Zealander should have to find out that their stories are up for the highest bidder through a fire sale at TVNZ -what next? Radio New Zealand is going to be up for sale? It is time for the Ministers to step in and stop this nonsense from even happening. If they don’t then we certainly will.” Tukaki said

“The campaign now being run by Ngā Aho Whakaari, who is the national representative body for Māori working in screen, which includes film, television, digital and gaming. Our members range from actors, directors and independent production companies to presenters, producers, technicians, writers to broadcasting students and educators, will give you an indication of just how serious this matter has become.” Tukaki said

“At a time when we are looking towards a future of growth in Maori broadcasting we see this sort of nonsense happening. Not just Maori but all New Zealanders should be concerned at the behind the scenes fire sales happening in these recalcitrant State Owned Enterprises” Tukaki said.


1. Māori programmes were tax-payer funded and this includes news footage - TVNZ did not and does not pay for Māori programmes
2. Programmes such as Waka Huia feature kaumātua and tīpuna who gave their time and knowledge without cost for future generations
3. Waka Huia was started with funding from the Ministry of Education and the Māori Affairs Department
4. At any time, TVNZ is in danger of being sold and with it all Māori footage
5. Māori are a Treaty of Waitangi partner but have been completely sidelined in the consultation process
6. At NO TIME were Māori consulted on the licensing deal

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