Māori Women’s Group questions social service role of RadioLive talkshow hosts

Te Wharepora Hauora Māori Women’s Group has written an open letter to Willie Jackson and John Tamihere following a controversial interview they conducted with a friend of one of the alleged victims of the Roast Busters group.

In the RadioLive interview yesterday the 18 year old woman who called herself ‘Amy’ was questioned as to how “free and easy” kids were nowadays and was also told, “girl’s shouldn’t be drinking anyway, should they?”

The broadcasters also suggested that if someone were to come forward with a complaint of rape that those who initially consented to sex with boys in the group may now “line up” to say they were raped as well.

Just after midday today on the RadioLive show, Willie Jackson apologised to 'Amy' but did not apologise for asking questions of what the parents of the girls are doing or about the girls and what they were doing either. 

In the open letter by members of Te Wharepora Hauora Māori, Dr Leonie Pihama and Marama Davidson expressed concern over the leading social service roles the two broadcasters play in South and West Auckland, “What is alarming is that with all the involvement you have in providing programmes within urban Māori communities that you remain ignorant of the destruction caused by rape culture.”

Both broadcasters head Māori organisations which provide health, youth and wrap around services for rangatahi and their families. The organisations they lead receive Government funding to run those services. The organisations provide assistance like counselling and assisting youth at risk in the South and the West. The letter went on to say, “What is disconcerting is that you have no sense of understanding for how difficult it is to talk to others about being raped, about sexual violence, about family violence let alone what it means to be 14, 15 or 16 years old.”

Social media sites have been flooded with comments criticising the way in which the interview was conducted and the nature of it. After 41 comments were posted directing criticism at the broadcasters,the RadioLive website, section was closed. The broadcasters show today has also been flooded with people questioning the way in which the interview was conducted.

Te Kāea reporter Amomai Pihama will delve further into the issue itself and the repocussions on Te Kāea tonight at 5:30 and 7:00 pm with subtitles.