Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Would you be happy to hear a word in Maori?

Some people perhaps thought I was being a bit harsh with my treatment of the Herald's article on Maori TV's Rugby World Cup broadcasting bid. Fortunately, the Herald made that judgement a little bit easier today with today's contributions to the 'debate'. Firstly, another article - this time relegated to A3 by the exclusive story "Yesterday was quite cold".
Maori TV's Rugby World Cup commentary would mainly be in English but 5 to 10 per cent will be peppered with Maori phrases.
Good gracious.

It's an interesting story, in a sense. You might think that a reasonable person would consider this a non-story; after all, it's a rugby game, not a Shakespeare production. I don't really watch rugby, but what subtleties are being passed on, what nuggets of wisdom entrusted to the viewer by the commentators? I imagine that 50% of the commentary could be in Aramaic and it wouldn't affect the intelligibility of the game for anyone. But what makes the story interesting is how the rest of it is quite reasonable and mild:

The Maori component would be made up of definitions for commonly used terms, such as drop goal or scrum flashing up on screen and by the commentator making certain calls in Te Reo then repeating it in English.

The amount of Maori spoken would be so small that the majority of its presenters would not have to speak the language, and the Herald understands the station is expected to head-hunt the likes of Keith Quinn for commentary roles.

The rest of the story is just rehashed from yesterday's piece. So why, I wonder, would the Herald publish a prominent piece about how a few Maori words and phrases will be used in rugby commentary?

Oh, maybe this is why: "Would you be happy to watch Rugby World Cup games on Maori TV?":

leonard (Wanganui): Is the mony well spent? Dr Sharples seems to think so. Don't people know that it's rude to speak another language? Answer to that most of the immigrants do that every day.

English please.

Tinnyliz (Wellington City): As long as the commentary is 100% English I don't care which channel it's on. I can't stand watching anything in a foreign language.

But the whole thing is premised on not being 100% English, because... oh look, never mind.

GT (East Tamaki): No, I do not want to have to listen to Maori in the middle of the games. I don't mind if you want to spread Maori culture, but not like this. This would be akin to force feeding.

Don't people know that it's rude to speak another language in front of people who don't understand it? What's the difference between that and forcing everyone to watch Maori TV where they wouldn't understand 10% of the commentary?

The sheer nerve! These Maoris come to our country and dare to speak their language in front of us. Lucky for them we are far more tolerant, and haven't forced them to listen to us speaking English.

(PS. I have bad news for you: 'Tamaki' is Maori! Sorry!)
Altvox (auckland): As A Taxpayer I dont mind funding TVNZ that is the state broadcaster.I object to funding Maori TVs bid for World Cup rights using taxpayer money.

Would have no issues if they used some of the billions of treaty money for this but that seems tied up in new cars and houses for Maori leaders and none for those who need it.
And by "some of the billions of treaty money for this but that seems tied up in new cars and houses for Maori leaders and none for those who need it", I mean "thing I totally made up".

Daytripper (Hamilton): Yes I have issues with taxpayer money being used to fund a bid to have the broadcasting rights to the New Zealand public, not an issue with whichever channel it is on as most people do.

Taxpayer dollars should not be used for this and before anyone moans TVNZ and TV3 were not given taxpayer dollars to put in a bid for this. Like most of New Zealand I am sick to death of Maori being forced down our throats all the time, being blamed for all the ills in maoridom but Maori organisations are very happy to put the hand out for pakeha money.

This is why race-based politics will not work, as the Maori Party is only interested in anything to do with Maori, not all of New Zealand, imagine if the Greens only applied themselves for people who believed in their policies only, if National only promoted things pertinent to their party faithful there would be an outcry, but because it is Maori we are all supposed to accept it and if you make any comments you are classed as a red neck and racists.

No to taxpayer funding for TV channels full stop, Maori have had enough money off taxpayers to be capable of funding their own TV station from now on.

In sum then, definitely no issues about whichever channel it is on.
Tommy (Tauranga): No. Like everything else Maori their TV channel is taxpayer funded, so it shouldn't be there. I wouldn't watch it on principal.
Don't worry, I'm sure there'll be something else on another channel you can watch. Maybe someone less racist can text you score updates.

And so on. It's almost like living in upside-down land, where cats chase dogs, rain goes up, and newspapers publish stories so that crazy people have something to complain about online.


While I'm talking about YV I may as well mention this blog, run by a media studies masters student. It's completely dedicated to the academic study of Your Views, a worthy topic by any measure. How he keeps a straight face while he writes it I don't know - but as it's apparently part of coursework he's not allowed to poke fun at the denizens of the sordid little world. Sucka.


  1. I can't believe I only found this blog yesterday, after a long, long year of Herald grumbling and YourViews dismany. Thank you!

  2. I have no problem whatsoever with government funding being spent on promoting maori language. It is a language indigenous to this country, so it becomes a part of our culture as Kiwis, whether us whiteys like it or not. Maori influence in kiwi culture gives us a point of difference from the rest of the world, a point of difference that we should be proud of. The language, at a minimum, provides us with unique place names and phrases that many of us use on a daily basis, such as 'kia ora' and 'not even ow'.

    Dont get me started on foreign languages though. I have very little respect for people who move here and dont make any attempt to learn our language, and it infuriates me that we allow foreign languages to be used in signs, pamplets and what not anywhere other than at refugee centres and hospitals. But thats a seperate issue.

  3. Monk De Wally De HonkOctober 6, 2009 at 10:40 PM

    Do we have 'refugee centres'?

    "it infuriates me that we allow foreign languages to be used in signs, pamplets and what not..."

    So by that rationale, Mr Rocks, how dare you speak English in Aotearoa?

    Or are you being sarcastic? It's difficult to tell.

  4. I presume the haka at the start of the game is still acceptable to these people, no?

  5. I always find it a real shame that New Zealand is not a genuine bilingual country when it had the perfect opportunity to be so. I would be proud to be able to speak Maori with another expat met while travelling just to infuriate local racists. ("Travelling? What's that?")

    Why nobody is mentioning the advertising revenues that this would generate is curious. That's not $3 mil thrown into a hole, there's profit there surely. Value for money, return on investment. A bit of culture also perhaps.

  6. Bang on The.

    TV companies bid on stuff like this because they believe they can make money from it so why portray it as money wasted? I guess 'Maori TV does what TV companies do and attempts to make a profit' isn't as catchy.

  7. Seeings as te reo Maori is actually an official language of (funnily enough) 'Aotearoa', Im amused to see the numpty's calling it a foreign language. then of course the usual bullshit about Maori and perceptions of being incapable with money, and the billions (thats why there was a 1 billion dollar cap on settlements, not Billions dollar cap) being wasted on those bloody annoying natives. Once again, the Herald beautifully demonstrates we are a nation of racist morons.

    if non-maori don't like Maoridom, then stop using the haka, saying 'kia ora bro', using that koru on the air nz tail and covering yourselves in undeserved commodified ta-moko tattoo. take it or leave it. Don't appropriate bits of Maoritanga to soothe your identity crisis, leave us the hell out of it.
    *rant off*

    and thank you James again for your eloquence :)

  8. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQnd5ilKx2Y

  9. Classic Anonymous! 'What I reckon...' haha!

  10. Monk Wally- Yes, we do have refugee centres, or at least if we done have sole purpose facilities, we have have refugee services that are run out of other community facilities.

    And I try to write ambiguously enough so that the limp wristed lefties on this blog can think that I'm writing with tongue firmly in cheek while the right leaning racists can agree with the words verbatim. Or vice versa. If you want to know how I *truly* feel, well, its usually somewhere in the middle.

  11. Ughh I think that was the most offensive Your Views I've read.

    They can't even write properly in English or probably speak it as a first language so why the fuck are they attacking people who can speak two more languages than they can?

  12. "While I'm talking about YV I may as well mention this blog"...

    Superb - as is one of the sites it links to: Speak Your Branes.