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Positive Counter Brash - Lash

Tuesday Feb 17, 2004
Press Release:
POSITIVE COUNTER BRASH - LASH

As National's leader, Don Brash appears to have rejuvenated a sector of New Zealand's land of long white faces, with his infamous speech inferring zero tolerance to Maori issues, indigenous lifestyle magazine, TU MAI offers a refreshing and enlightening spin on race relations in their February 50th issue cover story headlined POLYEURASIANS ­ the new breed New Zealander.

Dispelling the one people notion, the article includes comments from individuals of various ethnic backgrounds who are encouraged by the future prospect of a multi-cultural New Zealand society and who also value their own unique cultural identities.

According to the article, projected population statistics indicate that by 2011, 39% of the total population will comprise of Maori, Pacific Island and Asian peoples, and by 2050, this segment will represent 50%. The article also draws on cultural diversification and cultural acceptance as a necessity to ensuring a shift in the monoculture psyche prevalent in New Zealand society today. As well as its 50th issue, the independently owned, non government funded magazine that essentially but not exclusively deals with Maori issues, celebrates its 5th year in publishing and has re-branded itself as New Zealand's leading indigenous magazine.

Editor Ata Te Kanawa says the celebration is more about survival in what is commonly regarded as a highly stressful and competitive industry. "WeŒve faced more odds than evens and survived some bigger and brighter players in this game like Grace and Style magazine and has it been hard? Yes, but without question it's been equally satisfying!"

In what she describes as a deliberate and positive move in terms of the reality of race relations and commercialism in this country, the magazine now includes content from the Pacific Island community.

"With regard to market share, the allegiance with national Pacific Island broadcaster NiuFm has instantly doubled our potential audience - the parallels with Maori are far too many for us to be divided", says Ms Te Kanawa.

But added hastily, "Not that we have compromised our strong Maori profile in any way. Hosting an on-line petition in support of Maori claims to the Foreshore and Seabed has catapulted our political profile", says Ms Te Kanawa.

"The hits on our website have been phenomenal but we've also attracted some crude, sick and racist feedback, two of which now form the basis of a formal complaint to Police. Obviously Maori aren't the only ones hurtling the brown stuff".

The on line petition can be accessed on TU MAI Magazine's website: http://www.tumai.co.nz/foreshore.htm

ENZ

For more information contact Editor: Ata Te Kanawa TU MAI Magazine ata@tumai.co.nz


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