6 Mar 2013

Maori cultural festival deserves wider audience - TV3

7:10 pm on 6 March 2013

TV3 says the world's biggest kapa haka competition deserves wider coverage on mainstream channels instead of limiting it to Maori Television.

Te Matatini Incorporated Society banned 3 News for 24 hours last week from showing any pictures of the largest Maori cultural festival after the programme breached an agreement between Te Matatini and the host broadcaster Maori Television.

An exclusive broadcast deal was signed with Maori Television and the iwi radio station, Te Arawa FM.

TV3 director of news and current affairs Mark Jennings says Te Matatini organisers have sold themselves short and they need to think of the benefits of exposing Maori culture to a wider audience.

He says obviously Maori TV saw it as an opportunity to drive up its ratings, but the reality is that it restricts the audience.

Mr Jennings says Te Matatini needs to be also seen on mainstream television because this is a significant occasion that deserves a bigger viewership.

He says while he understands what Maori TV is doing he says it's disappointing for the event itself.