5 Aug 2005

Filming ban strikes bad note at Cooks Constitution Day celebrations

9:44 am on 5 August 2005

The 40th Constitution Day celebrations in the Cook Islands have been marred with a ban on Pacific Islands international film and television crews filming one of the premier events the cultural performances at the auditorium.

The Ministry of Culture and Heritage which is organising the celebrations told the crews after they arrived in the country that filming would not be allowed at some of the events.

Elma Maua reports

"Pacific Island and Maori international film crews, including Tagata Pasifika, say they're frustrated at the differing opinions on their right to film different cultural performances at the auditorium. Those affected are the Tahitian crew accompanying French Polynesian's president Oscar Temaru, a Hawaiian film crew, and TVNZ's Marae. The Tagata Pasifika crew said they're confused because they were given the green light by the Minister of Culture and Heritage Wilkie Rasmassen to film one night of performances. Only to be told by the minister's secretary, Sonny Williams, Its not going to happen. However Mr Williams has offered some of the cultural film footage to the crew, and allowed them to film the official constitution day celebrations today."