9 Apr 2015

Mocked haka performer wants legal protection

7:24 am on 9 April 2015

A haka performer publicly mocked on social media says whoever posted pictures of him and members of his group should be held legally accountable.

Some of the images show two members of the winning Matatini group, Te Whanau a Apanui, with no heads and their faces photoshopped on to their chests and stomachs.

Te Kapa Haka o Te Whanau-ā-Apanui

Te Kapa Haka o Te Whanau-ā-Apanui Photo: Te Matatini

One of the men, television personality Tiare Tawera, said he initially thought it was funny but later realised it also poked fun at his team, Maoridom and the culture.

He was worried that similar pictures of kaihaka or performers would resurface in future, and to help stop that he believed legal measures need to be in place.

More FM re-posted the images which came from an international website, and has now taken down the photos. It has apologised for any offence the images have caused.

Aotearoa Kapa Haka, the firm that manages copyright matters regarding images taken of performers at Te Matatini, plans to complain to the Broadcasting Standards Authority over the misuse by More FM of the photos featuring performers.

It said its legal team was also examining copyright issues.

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