Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Inspiration and introduction

Kia ora,

I have been inspired to write this blog after being a regular follower and contributor of articles on Maori issues in the media.

For four years I worked as a reporter at a medium sized daily newspaper and during that time I covered the Maori Affairs round. As a Maori descendant with iwi affliations that spread across much of the motu it seemed only natural that I would have an interest in this area. It was a natural fit almost and while I acknowledge that some of the stories I wrote were contentious I always believed my role was to provide as much of the information in a fair and balanced way to those who read my stories.

Last month I resigned from my job as a reporter to explore new opportunities. This provides me with an opportunity to share my personal opinion in certain areas but I have missed writing and sharing information. I decided to start this blog after watching Close Up's story on race relations in New Zealand that aired over April 23 and 24. It was a story that left me outraged.

The By Microwave blog, named after a description of a set of experiences I faced as a junior reporter, will endeavour to look at Maori issues as they are portrayed in the media. I am known as a bit of a ranter but I have also been inspired by Morgan Godfrey and his blog Maui Street and I can only hope to somewhat emulate him. Through his blog and in his appearances on television Morgan has portrayed himself as a mostly-neutral observer that makes decisions on the information known. I hope to provide a viewpoint that will explore the media's treatment of Maori stories from an equally neutral (albeit coloured) standpoint.

My goal in this blog is to stimulate discussion around presentation of Maori stories in the media and what our expectations, as new consumers, should be.

If you haven't seen it here is a link to the debate on Close Up about issues that were raised in a story the previous night about Maori activist Wikatana Popata and his brother.

In his latest blog post Morgan said "It achieved nothing other than to provide John Ansell with a platform to parrot his flawed and offensive views on Maori and New Zealand society." I definitely had to agree with Morgan, what was your opinion about it?

Nga mihi nunui



  1. I tend to agree with you on John Ansell. Unfortunately I missed the previous Close Up programme about race relations in New Zealand although I can imagine its tenor. I'll follow your blog as I am very interested in this issue. Most Pakeha, IMHO are racist, mainly due to their ignorance of Maori culture. With the way John key is leading this country, selling off our land to the Chinese and other foreigners, I can only hope that Maori rise up en masse and save us from total annihilation, so that we don't become tenants in our own land. I see clearly how Maori must have felt when the first settlers arrived here. I'd be more than happy to see them squatting on the Crafar farms. This sale has simply got to be stopped. I'd start a blog of my own but I just don't have the time and/or energy to devote to it. Kia kaha, Karia!

  2. Calm first post Karla. While you're on the subject, what do you think of Wikatana Popata's view?

    1. Cheers Matt. You sound a little surprised but to be fair so was I.
      Anyway as to Wikatana Popata and his views, it is still a little odd for me to be able to share a personal opinion in such a public forum but I will try. I simply believe tha Wikatana represents a growing group, of mostly young Maori, who feel disenfranchised and angry. He may not be as articulate or clear-thinking as I would like but that doesn't mean he doesn't raise some valid points. Sure he perhaps needs to broaden his outlook and most would consider his views to be very extreme. Most every-day Maori probably wouldn't be that far over in the spectrum, and some may even be a little embarrassed about it all, but many would be able to identify with parts. The sin in it all is that Close Up's stories made the assumption that Wikatana was a normal everyday Maori perpetuating the myth that all Maori are...(fill in the space). Clearly Wikatana is not a everyday Maori if he has labelled himself an activist.

  3. Morgan Godfrey is excellent I love the way he remains cool calm and collective on TV.

  4. Tena koe e Karla. Kei te tautoko au i a tatou e whakawhitiwhiti whakaaro penei ana i nga take nui o tenei ao hurihuri. Ko tenei momo korero ma runga i te ipurangi, ara, te whakawhitiwhiti whakaaro ahakoa tane, ahakoa wahine, ahakoa rangatahi, ahakoa pakeke, he momo korero wharenui kei roto i te wahi o Rongo. He " virtual" wharenui. Ki a au nei, me tuhi i to taua reo, ahakoa kaore te katoa i te mohio ki te korero. Ki te kore te reo i te whiua haeretia i roto i tenei wharenui ipurangi, ka koingo nga taringa ki te rongo i tona reka. Kia kaha ki te whakapuaki i o ake whakaaro. Kaore he etita e tu ana kei muri ai a koe inaianei. Kaua e wareware he rawe te reo mo te tautohetohe, mo te matapaki, mo te taukumekume hoki. Koira taku i tenei wa. Kei a koe te rakau. A

    1. E te rangatira,

      Aroha mai, unfortunately I am not up to this task at the moment. My grasp of Te Reo Maori is not strong enough to be as eloquent as I would like. But the challenge has been heard loud and clear and my task now is to get to a point where I can do it.

      Kia ora koe mo to whakaaro me to wero, ka whakaputiputi tooku ngakau.

      Nga mihi


  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Tena koe Karla,
    Good to hear another aro in the e-verse. And nothing wrong with ranting, we're such a polite society, sometimes to the point of avoiding the issues. And issues there are aplenty...