Katchafire's Logan Bell says racism is the reason the group isn't getting enough recognition in New Zealand, despite taking off overseas.

The lead singer took to Facebook to express his disappointment, saying Katchafire are "doing huge things" in the US, but are being ignored.

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"What other New Zealand bands are coming over here every year and slaying it every night?" he wrote.


"If Dave Dobbyn was doing this it would be all over the news."

Speaking to Maori Television, Bell said Katchafire has been performing in the US at least twice a year, every year since shooting to fame for their 2006 NFL halftime performance in Hawaii.

He says their audience is largely "indigenous peoples which we are all plugged into", but adds that more of "white America" has tapped into their sound recently, too.

"The tours have been really huge, which is why a documentary crew should be capturing and showing the world our unique achievements. The US market really needs and loves our music and message," Bell said.

But he says New Zealand mainstream media is "aligned" with the government, and as such, doesn't make it a priority "to show Maori people working hard and doing positive things".

"I believe racism exists in New Zealand and have had first-hand experience, but I have never lowered myself to reacting to ignorance. It's the higher stuff that gets me. It's old guys sitting in their cigar rooms pulling strings," he told Maori TV.

"Positive Maori role models never get heard or don't make it to their full potential - that ticks me off the most."