Restrictions at this year's kapa haka championships has led to members of the public criticising mainstream media for the lack of coverage.

One Maori media outlet snubbed last week's competition, saying the lack of full access was a slap in the face. Te Matatini, held in Rotorua, finished on Sunday.

Members of the public have swarmed social networking sites criticising mainstream media for the lack of coverage.

One person wrote: "Mean! Matatini on TV3 news. Love it when the world's biggest Maori event gets a 20 second mention in mainstream news! #sarcasm."


National MP Tau Henare waded into the debate, saying: "TV One news had no coverage. Spose nothing is better than something. Still sulking about MaoriTV lol."

Henare later wrote: "Maybe they should have more respect for the rules."

The Herald has also received calls and complaints from readers upset about the lack of coverage and photos. However a photographer was not allowed to take pictures of performances at the event.

Mana Magazine, an urban Maori glossy magazine, was so unhappy with the restrictions it decided not to cover the event in its next issue.

Associate editor Aaron Smale said he was dumbfounded when told they would not be able to take their own photos at the event, despite being a bi-monthly magazine. "Our coverage wouldn't have been seen until much later - when the event was done and dusted.

"If we've got to source photos from the same place as where everybody else has, then it's old. What's the point? We just thought, 'oh, bugger it'."

Maori Television and Te Matatini Inc Society managing director Darrin Apanui did not return messages last night.

The rules
* Only official broadcaster Maori TV can conduct interviews backstage.


* Television broadcasters are restricted from showing content until 10pm nightly.

* Print media cannot take own photos of performances and must take pictures from official site.