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'Surprise' Treaty claim over TV3 cannibalism story

'Surprise' Treaty claim lodged over TV3 cannibalism story

Maturahurahu hapu leader David Rankin has lodged a claim with the Waitangi Tribunal over a TV3 60 Minutes item on Maori cannibalism which screened on Monday 6 October.

In his claim, Mr Rankin says the programme – which showed footage of interference in Maori burial sites, and the mistreatment of the remains of the ancestors of the region breached the Treaty because the Crown controls the frequencies on which the programme was broadcast.

"The programme was an outrage", says Mr.Rankin, "and the Minister of Treaty Negotiations has been silent – as have all the Maori MPs. I have to ask myself, if this was a war cemetery in Europe and bones were dug up and placed elsewhere, what would be the reaction of the New Zealand public?"

"For us as Maori, to tamper with the remains of the dead is sacrilegious – worse than grave robbing. The Crown has been negligent in its management of the frequencies on which this desecration of our graves was broadcast."

The claim notes that "None of the appropriate cultural protocols were adhered to during this process, causing great distress to some individuals, and gravely offending Ngapuhi's mana. The entire segment on the burial was highly culturally offensive, not just to Ngapuhi, but to all Maori."

When asked what he would expect for a settlement, Mr Rankin replied, "I do not want money- not a cent. All I expect is that the Crown offer our hapu, and all Maori in Aotearoa, a full apology. If TV3 wants to apologise, then that is their business, but I would expect them to do the responsible thing".

ENDS

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