October 03, 2019
Non-Māori still defining Māori stories
The chair of the Māori screen workers guild Ngā Aho Whakaari says efforts to increase the Māori presence in film and television productions don't go far enough.
As screen industry professionals gather in Auckland for the Power of Inclusion summit to discuss issues such as diversity and representation both on and off the screen, Hineani Melbourne says she sometimes feels little has changed since her predecessor the late Barry Barclay's 1976 protest against the failure by state agencies to fund Māori creatives.
The latest New Zealand On Air funding strategy for Māori content, Rautaki, is a case of good intentions let down by execution.
"They have to have two key creative’s and it has to be a Māori story. The problem is New Zealand On Air are still defining what they think is a Māori story. The trouble is, they don’t have any Māori at New Zealand On Air. There is not one Māori working there. Lovely people, but no Māori," Ms Melbourne says.
She says in both television and film productions, guild members don't want to be isolated as the sole source of Māori input, and they want to see more Māori in positions like section heads which determine the kind of workforce that is on a production.
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