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Nats & Media Must Fulfil Their Treaty Obligations

National Party And Mainstream Media Must Fulfil Their Treaty Obligations

26 July 2001

National's Murray McCully said in the snap debate on Maori TV the government should put Maori broadcasting money into housing. His colleagues also questioned the amount of money put into Maori TV.

Leader of Mana Motuhake and Alliance MP, Willie Jackson says National MPs are sidelining the government's Treaty obligations to protect Maori language and culture.

"I take great pleasure in reminding my opposition colleague Murray McCully that when he was National's Minister of Housing, I don't remember him asking the Minister of Broadcasting for money for housing, nor do I remember him asking the Minister of Maori Affairs or Aotearoa Television Network for money to spend on housing.

"I am surprised his colleague Georgina Te Heu Heu MP hasn't rebutted his hypocritical suggestion that Maori broadcasting money should be spent on housing.

"One of the reasons why this Coalition Government has put in $33 million this year, building up to $55 million in 2004/5, is because it was clear from the debacle of National's Aotearoa TV Network, that realistic funding and accountability was needed to make Maori TV a success.

"Not putting aside this money specifically for Maori TV would be to sideline our obligations in the Treaty to protect Maori language and culture.

"And I will be reminding people that these obligations can't be reflected only by Maori TV, but also must be reflected throughout mainstream broadcasting. The government has made the first steps in the right direction and I celebrate that fact. I am also keen to promote Maori in all areas of broadcasting and will be keeping an eye on the performance of mainstream media.

"Take the TVNZ charter for example. TVNZ must 'ensure in its programmes and programme planning the participation of Maori and the

presence of a significant Maori voice'. That is a good statement to have in the charter and I am going to monitor their progress in living up to it. I have to say now, that the only significant program, which is understood by the majority of Maori who are not fluent Maori speakers, is a kid's program called 'Mai Time'. That makes it imperative that Maori programmes in English are made a priority.

"TVNZ must pick up the challenge to live up to their own charter and like National, they must not be allowed to sideline their Treaty Obligations to Maori language and culture," said Willie Jackson MP.

Ends


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