The proposal to ‘rationalise’ Māori media into a single news service is regressive
and will further marginalise the Māori voice, writes journalist Mihingarangi Forbes.
Those of us who live and work in te ao Māori have clocked up more than a few hours on wooden bench seats on windswept marae, pulling our coats close and hanging on every word, every thrust and parry of argument, as speakers duel in the realm of Tūmatauenga.
When it’s done well, whaikōrero on the marae takes an issue and examines it from all sides. Each speaker builds on the speech before. Watching a great kaikōrero at work is a masterclass in listening and critiquing, adding in lived experience, citing history in support, holding the idea up for those on the ātea to examine from all sides, to see the light shine through it and reveal any flaws in it. The supporting waiata confirms the strength of support for the speech or, in some instances, cuts it short if the aunties decree that the kaikōrero has strayed from the path of truth into “fake news”. Each element adds to the experience, enlightening all who have the privilege to be there.
The suggestion that there would only be one kaikōrero beggars belief.