Research Ngā Rangahau

The Portrayal of Māori and Te Ao Māori in Broadcasting: the Foreshore and Seabed Issue, 2005


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Date published: December 2005

Researchers: Media Research Team, Te Kawa a Māui, Victoria University of Wellington


  • Evaluates the way Māori and te ao Māori are portrayed in broadcasting, in relation to the foreshore and seabed issue, and in accordance with the standards set by the Broadcasting Act 1989


  • Literature search and review including unpublished work particularly on media research methods and the image of Māori in the media
  • Case study method was chosen to allow an in-depth analysis of television and radio programmes and broadcasters
  • Covered the period from 19 June to 26 September 2003


  • Balance: while balance was not always achieved in individual news stories, broadcasters generally attained balance over a period of time
  • Accuracy: the programmes were almost all accurate. Some misspellings of Māori names appeared on television
  • Fairness: the programmes were considered fair
  • Tikanga Māori: in the mainstream broadcasts there were few references to tikanga and they were generally well-explained
  • Tikanga was much more significant in the by-Māori-for-Māori broadcasts
  • Language: the pronunciation of Māori words and names in mainstream broadcasts generally very good
  • The use and pronunciation of te reo in by Māori for Māori programmes was fluent and generally excellent
  • Tone: almost all of the broadcasts were serious and informative in tone
  • Broadcasting standards were generally met, but this research project raises the view that the standards as currently framed do not adequately reflect Māori realities, concerns and interests