Now you know I love y'all, but where are the brothers at?
UPDATE | 3pm: Just seen that my co-blogger will be on Jim Mora's show in an hour on the panel. Bugger, I've just written all this and now I'll have to participate in what I'm basically defining as institutional racism by listening to it. The hypocrisy? Stick it to the man, mate. --UPDATE ENDS
Our Pakeha peeps. The only Maori thing about it is the odd subtitle here and there. It's as much as they themselves think they ought to do, and they figure that's more than enough for a government department. A government department of a colonial regime that owns and operates two white radio networks based on tikanga and reo Pakeha called National and Concert. The first to cater primarily to middle class whites, the second upper-middle class.
The content, the language used, the staff and on-air voices are almost exclusively Pakeha with Maori voices and content mainly quarantined in short segments clearly identified as being Maori. Although Maori voices may be heard on other programmes - such as the news and current affairs shows - the position from which they must communicate is inside a Pakeha space - and always to a presumed Pakeha audience.
The Crown gives them a lot of money to do this though they are very reluctant to tell us (if you go to their website to try and find it). Funding is buried over at NZOn Air.That's 31 million to prop up the English language and the Pakeha culture and simultaneously marginalise and diminish the Maori language and culture by claiming the RNZ institution represents New Zealand. It represents Wellington's view of what a New Zealander is in the exact same way that Te Papa museum of NZ does - with the exception that at least RNZ acknowledges the existence of Auckland.
I've been reading Henare Te Ua's memoir and his involvement with Radio NZ. It's like reading something from a black guy who worked for Radio Rhodesia. Not the personal racism, the structure.
Compare this to say Radio Live's Willie Jackson and John Tamihere pairing in the afternoons. There is no Maori voice on RNZ National. There's an Irish voice. There's an English voice. There's a Pakeha voice. Has this ever been a fair representation of "our" voices?
Radio NZ Act : The charter tacks on a token thing about Maori onto clause (b) but it's not worthy of its own point - indeed it is framed only in terms of catering to "cultural diversity" - it is the Pakeha cultural hegemony which is presumed here:And to better reflect reality they may have well added:
(i) a subsidised sense of cultural security to older Pakeha - middle class Wellingtonians and the teaching profession in particular - by broadcasting a wide range of narrow interest programmes with bland and unchanging on-air personnel.
Sadly this has become what is expected from a public service broadcaster. RNZ has a huge legacy audience that doesn't want change and the management are in tune with that. What that means is that Maori - and certainly Pacific and Asian voices too - are minimised. They don't seem to want to bring anyone new over for fear of upsetting anyone they already have. It's a recipe for stagnation. They are in something of a quandry as their cohort dies off. The move to add a very brief greeting in the Maori language before or after the news was met with much vitriol from some RNZ listeners according to Sean Plunket. That is the type of hard-core racism they are running up against over the smallest concession to the indigenous culture.