I commend Kelvin Davis for apologising to Act member Karen Chhour after accusing her of "not understanding the Māori world view" and suggesting that she was looking at the world through a "vanilla lens".
The apology was warranted because, sadly, there is a growing attitude among a certain group of Māori that there is only one interpretation of a Māori world view - and it is theirs.
Willie Jackson took that prejudice to a whole new level. Māori who don't view the world quite as he does are simply dismissed as "useless Māori."
I had the dubious honour of being placed in that category a number of years ago by Willie when he advised me at my first Māori Television Board meeting that I had no right to be on the board because I did not have te reo. This from a radio jock who had built his media reputation on an English-speaking radio chat show not noted for its overabundance of te reo at the time.
I was honoured to have been asked to take up a position on the board of Māori Television, and assumed I was there because of the way a small team of clever, young, white people I worked with from Dunedin had started using the latest technologies to bring Māori stories, a Māori world view, to life across a wide range of platforms that now made up the media landscape.
But no – I didn't have te reo - so I was quite clearly in Willie's "useless Māori" category.
That didn't really bother me because nothing Willie said could take away from my sense of who I was and where I came from. Especially because, at the time, I felt his contribution to the media landscape was more hui than doee.
But Willie is now Minister of Broadcasting and Media and he is charged with merging Radio New Zealand and Television New Zealand into a future-focused broadcasting entity that has to face the huge challenges of the new online platforms that are decimating the old world of radio and television. The skillsets and experience needed for a role such as this have challenged some of the largest media organisations in the world, not to mention some of the most tech-savvy storytellers on the planet.
But, when I look at Willie's CV, there is not a lot to suggest that this is a job he is particularly well qualified for.
He does have te reo – I have to give him that – but where is the detailed knowledge and vision for a future-focused entity that will deliver content that will engage viewers across the wide range of platforms that are now available to all?
Where are the KPIs for an investment of over $300 million simply to merge two networks from totally different arms of the media environment? One of those, TVNZ, is already making significant headway in the new world of online entertainment on its own.
Where is the rationale behind removing funds from New Zealand On Air, an entity that has done so much for keeping New Zealand content on our screens, and handing it off to a government-owned entity where we all know grand visions have a habit of going to die?
I have felt a huge sense of pride as I have watched how our media are increasingly treating te reo as something that really is part of our everyday vernacular. Guyon Espiner is someone I admire immensely for leading that charge.
I have watched with similar pride the huge steps our rangatahi, our young people, are taking in embracing te reo as part of their daily lives here in Aotearoa New Zealand. As part of what makes us special.
I was recently a speaker at a conference in Christchurch that featured Stacey and Scotty Morrison, Piri Weepu, Oriini Kaipara, Anika Moa and Stan Walker. I was the only one who did not speak te reo and I was in awe of the stories they shared. But equally, I felt entirely at home.
There is no place for discrimination by Māori, for Māori who are dismissed as having a "vanilla lens on the Māori world view" simply because they do not have te reo, or who choose to embrace all sides of their whakapapa – my father was Scottish.
And if Willie wants to see a Māori world view delivered by a useless Māori who did not have the right to be on the Māori Television board those many years ago, then he should check out maatauranga.co.nz.
This site has been gifted to every school in the country and across Te Moananui a Kiwa, the Pacific Ocean, and was funded by a Pākehā businessman from Christchurch, with no reo at all but who felt that this story that had not been told in our education system in the past, needed to be told now. It's a simple message to our rangatahi, whether they speak te reo or not.
Kō ngā tāhū ā o tapu wai inanahi, hei tauira ora mō āpōpō.
The footsteps laid down by our ancestors centuries ago, create the paving stones upon which we stand today.
To that we add: innovation is in your DNA, wear it with pride.