Topics: Kapa Haka, Te Matatini

Māori Television CEO responds to reaction over Te Iti Kahurangi haka

By Te Kāea

Māori Television has republished a scathing haka aimed at the organisation on its website.

The haka by Waikato group, Te Iti Kahurangi, was performed at the recent Te Matatini competition and challenged stories reported on, by Māori Television.

The haka was edited out of a highlights package on Sunday.  Māori Television executive met with staff today, where the collective decision was made to re-publish the haka online.

The CEO of Māori Television, Paora Maxwell joined Piripi Taylor in the studio today.

Taylor asked, "First of all, why was the haka pulled in the first place?"

Mr Maxwell responded, "When I first heard the words of the haka, to me it belittled and discredited the entire efforts of Māori Television.  When I listened to what they were saying, I had to consider as the CEO how it reflected on all our programmes.  That was the reason."

Taylor went on, "Was it a fair choice to make, isn't that censoring?"

Maxwell says, "I don't see it as censoring because we had already broadcast Te Iti Kahurangi's performance live on Saturday as well as Sunday, so I don't believe it was censoring."

When asked why the decision changed, Maxwell replied, "I didn't want to take away from all the successful effort that we all put into Te Matatini, all the work of the organisers of the event, and the crew of Māori Television to stream the wonderful performances around the world.  Therefore I didn't want to undermine all the hard work Māori Television put into it."

When questioned whether the action breached any contractual obligations with Te Matatini, Maxwell told Te Kāea, "I have spoken with Te Matatini committee members such as Willie (Te Aho) and Selwyn (Parata) and I have exchanged emails and we are fine.  They are happy with our decision to re-publish the haka but to my understanding they are fully clear on the reason for the removal."

When asked where to from here, the response was, "For me Piripi, it's over.  Hopefully now the issue has been settled.  We are looking ahead to the next Te Matatini festival.  Perhaps in time, we can talk this over with Te Iti Kahurangi.  For me Piripi, the issue is over."