Trust firm on haka filming

By Dana Kinita

1 comment
Anaru Grant
Anaru Grant

Te Arawa Charitable Trust Kapa Haka Committee has taken greater control over how its events will be broadcast after an official complaint was made to Maori Television.

Committee chairman Anaru Grant said panel members were offended by an episode of 50 Haka Moments which repeatedly showed kapa haka leader Raimona Peni momentarily collapse while performing at Te Matatini, the biennial kapa haka festival last year in Rotorua. They also objected to "derogatory comments" that were made during the segment.

"We formally laid a complaint last Monday to Maori Television," Mr Grant said.

"Fortunately we had contacted Willie Te Aho who was the lead negotiator between Te Matatini and Maori Television and the day we spoke he said he had a meeting with [general manager of productions] Carol Hirschfeld that day.

"At that stage I had said to him the repercussions [of the episode] could possibly jeopardise Maori Television filming or using our imagery especially with the regional competition next month and they had to take immediate reaction."

The broadcaster has exclusive rights to film every regional kapa haka competition.

"If we have no control of how our image will be used then we will not give [our] permission to be filmed."

Maori Television management travelled from Auckland to Te Takinga Marae in Mourea last week to apologise in person to Mr Peni, his iwi and Te Arawa. They also spoke with the kapa haka committee regarding the direction of filming future kapa haka events in the region.

News and current affairs general manager Julian Wilcox said it was important for Maori Television to apologise face-to-face.

"Essentially we agreed to allow them to film our regional competition but for it to only be used in [kapa haka showcase series] Toi Whakaari and in its entirety. Any other use of our imagery and they will need to come back to us for permission," Mr Grant said.

"We will be going into negotiation for every performance, we're not just going to roll over our contract anymore.

"We have always been very vocal on issues when it comes to the welfare of our kapa haka and how it affects us. On three occasions we have not attended the national festival so they clearly know that when say we're going to do something, we mean it. But we are thankful that Maori Television have entered these discussions in good faith, their apology was sincere and it has opened the door of our relationship to go forward."

Tickets are on sale from Ticketmaster for Te Arawa Regional Kapa Haka competition to be held at the Rotorua Events Energy Centre on May 9 and 10.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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