How Stuff came to apologise to Māori

By Te Ao - Māori News

STUFF EDITORIAL: It’s not unusual to take stock when you hit a milestone birthday, look back, reflect and consider what contribution you might have made to society. There’ll be things you’re proud of, and often some regrets.

Ehara i te mea rerekē te arowhānui i te ekenga o tētahi huringa tau nui; ka hoki kōmuri ngā mahara, ka whakaaro hoki ki tāu i takoha ai ki te iwi. Ka kitea ētahi mea pai, me ētahi āwangawanga anō.

Our oldest paper turned 160 not so long ago. We have other papers on the cusp of their 150th birthdays. The Stuff website celebrated turning 20 this year. So, it’s only fair we too take stock.

Nōnakuanei ka eke te huritau 160 tau o tō mātou niupepa tawhito rawa. Arā atu ngā niupepa e whakatata ana ki te 150 tau. I tēnei tau, ka whakanuia e te ipurangi o Stuff tōna huritau 20 tau. Nō reira e tika ana kia arowhānui anō mātou i a mātou anō.

Without a doubt, our journalism has impacted on New Zealand’s history, and helped maintain democracy. The value of the independent journalism we’ve created over that time is tangible. But not beyond reproach.

Kāore e kore kua whai pānga ā mātou mahi pāpāho ki te hītori o Aotearoa, me te whakanohotanga o te manapori. I roto i tērā wā kua puta te hua o te uara o te pāpāho motuhake i hangaia rā e mātou. Heoi kei konā anō ngā kohete.

There’s a well-worn and age-old journalists’ adage: we hold the powerful to account. But when Stuff now values trust as its primary measure of success and has introduced the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi into its company charter, we needed to ensure our own backyard was in order first, to hold ourselves to account, too.

Arā tonu te kīwaha o te ao pāpāho: ko mātou te kaipātari o te hunga mananui. Engari kia uaratia e Stuff ināianei ko te mahi pono hei paearu matua mō ōna angitūtanga, ā, kua whakanōhia ngā mātāpono o te Tiriti o Waitangi ki te tūtohinga o te kamupene, e tika ana kia tahia tuatahitia e mātou tō mātou ake marae; kia tika ai anō hoki mātou.

Today, we’ve done that.

I tēnei rā, kua tutuki tērā.

Our Truth, Tā Mātou Pono is a Stuff project investigating the history of racism.

Stuff’s audience is an almost mirror image of New Zealand’s population – proudly multicultural. We wanted to know whether our reporting, our coverage of key historical events and the voices in our newspapers and websites were also a reflection of that diverse audience and population.

Hei whakaata tonu te minenga pānui o Stuff, i te taupori o Aotearoa – arā he maha ōna ahurea. Kua hiahia hoki mātou kia mōhio mēnā e hāngai ana ā mātou mahi pūrongo, ā mātou kōrero mō ngā rā hītori whai hiranga, tae atu ki ngā reo i ngā niupepa me ngā whārangi ipurangi, ki te kanorau o taua marea me te taupori.

Over several months, about 20 journalists and a production team – led by our Pou Tiaki editor Carmen Parahi – have embarked on a challenging – and, at times, difficult – critique of our own history.

I roto i ngā marama ruarua, he āhua 20 te rahi o te hunga pūrongo me te kapa waihanga – e ārahingia ana e te ētita Pou Tiaki e Carmen Parahi – i tahuri ki te mahi uaua o te aromatawai i tō mātou ake hītori.

Had we marginalised Māori, stereotyped Māori, been responsible for shaping social stigma against Māori? Importantly, had we failed our own editorial checklist of fairness, accuracy and balance with one important segment of our audience, of New Zealand?

Ka toko ake ngā pātai, i whakahāweatia rānei e mātou te Māori, i whakaparahakotia e mātou te Māori, ā, i whai wāhi rānei mātou ki te hanganga o te pāpori whakatakē i te Māori? Me te pātai nui, i whakatutuki rānei mātou i ngā tikanga o tō mātou rārangi tikanga ētita o te tōtika, te tika me te tiro taurite mō tētahi wāhanga nui o tō mātou minenga pānui; o Aotearoa nei?

We looked nationally, and locally. We looked at child abuse, Parihaka, at Moutoa Gardens, the police raids in Te Urewera, the Foreshore and Seabed Act, and more.

I tiro atu mātou ki te motu katoa, ki ngā rohe hoki. I tirohia ko ngā take tūkino tamariki, ko Parihaka, ko Pākaitore, ko ngā urutomo a te pirihimana ki Te Urewera, ko te Ture Takutai Moana, me ētahi atu take.

Across the board, the findings don’t make for good reading.

Puta noa i ēnei tirotiro katoa, kāore i pai te pānui atu.

Our coverage of Māori issues over the past 160 years ranged from racist to blinkered. Seldom was it fair or balanced in terms of representing Māori.

I roto i te 160 tau o te pāho i ngā take Māori, ka kitea he kaikiri, he kāpō rānei. Itiiti noa te wāhi whai tika, whai tauritenga rānei, mō te whakaatu i ngā take Māori.

The south Taranaki settlement of Parihaka pictured in 1881, prior to the invasion by armed constabulary troops.

One front page article from the 1800s reported this: “For an inferior race, coming in contact with one greatly superior, there are generally but two possible and conceivable destinies – absorption or destruction.”

Tērā tētahi tuhinga i te uhi o tētahi niupepa i te rautau 1800 e mea ana “E rua anake ngā huarahi mō tētahi iwi mana kore ka pā ki tētahi iwi mana nui – ko te whakauru ki roto, ko te mate rānei”.

That racist tone was not uncommon back then.

Ko ērā ngā momo whakaaro o ērā wā.

Dial ahead more than 100 years and the narrative remained divisive.

Kō atu i te 100 tau mai i taua wā, ka noho whakawehe tonu ngā kōrero.

Take the Foreshore and Seabed Act debate, as another example:

“Debate over Māori customary rights to the foreshore and seabed is making New Zealanders nervous…” Or, “Kiwis will remain free to walk the beaches around New Zealand's coastline, but the Government is facing revolt from Māori over its plans for the foreshore and seabed”.

Inā koa ngā tohe mō te Ture Takutai Moana:

“E noho māharahara ake nei te iwi o Aotearoa ki ngā tohe mō ngā mōtika a te Māori ki te takutai moana....” A tēnei rānei, “Ka noho wātea tonu ngā Pākehā ki te hīkoikoi i ngā takutai o te ākau o Aotearoa, engari e ātete tonu ana te Māori i te Kāwanatanga mō āna whakamahere mō te takutai moana”.

During the furore around the seabed and foreshore in 2004, our language often split New Zealand into two; into – Kiwis and Māori. Two separate groups, us and them.

As Stuff National Correspondent Charlie Mitchell found in his analysis, our language often split New Zealand into two – Kiwis and Māori. Two separate groups, us and them.

Ki tā ngā tātari a te Kaipūrongo Take ā-motu o Stuff, a Charlie Mitchell, nā tō mātou reo he rite tonu te wāhiruatanga o Aotearoa; ko ngā Pākehā ki tētahi taha, ko ngā Māori ki tētahi. He tōtara wāhirua; ko mātou, ko rātou.

I mentioned trust is now the key measure of Stuff’s success. I’ve written myself that, without public trust, journalism has nothing. But, importantly, one of the most important proxies of trust is diversity.

I mea ake au ko te pono ināianei te paearu matua o ngā whakatutukitanga a Stuff. Ko au tonu kua tuhi, tēnā ki te kore te whakapono mai o te tūmatanui, kāore he mana o te mahi pāpāho. Otirā ko tētahi tino hoa haere o te pono, ko te kanorau.

If we’ve been monocultural in our reporting – and we have – we haven’t been diverse. Therefore, we haven’t always been trustworthy. At times – notably in our distant past – we’ve been outright racist. At other times – more often in our recent history – we’ve looked through a single, Pākehā, lens.

Mēnā i whāiti tā mātou tiro ki te iwi kotahi – ka mutu i pērā tonu mātou – kāore kē mātou i whai i te kanorau. Nō reira, kāore i tatū te mahi pono i ngā wā katoa. He wā anō – inā koa ngā rā o mua rawa – he tino kaikiri kē mātou. He wā atu anō – inā tata noa nei – kotahi noa iho te tirohanga atu, ko te tirohanga Pākehā kē.

I’m sorry for that. Sorry to Māori. The monocultural aspects of our journalism have not served Aotearoa New Zealand well.

E whakapāha ana ahau ki tēnā. E whakapāha ana ki te Māori. Kāore he paku painga o ā mātou pāpāho tirohanga iwi kotahi mō te oranga whānui o Aotearoa.Tell us about your personal experience with the

Apologies are hollow without a commitment to change, to do better in the future. We’ve begun that journey, with much distance to travel.

Kāore hoki he mana o te whakapāha ki te kore e whai kiko te panoni; kia pai ake āpōpō, ā, haere ake nei. Kua tīmata mātou, engari, e roa a raro.

Our chief executive and owner has introduced the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi – partnership, participation and protection – into our company’s charter. The newsroom has committed to the principles too, in its recently published Editorial Code of Practice and Ethics, to represent all of Aotearoa New Zealand in the voices it publishes.

Nā tō mātou Tumu Whakarae, tō mātou Rangatira, i whakauru mai ngā mātāpono o te Tiriti o Waitangi – te mahitahitanga, te whai wāhitanga me te haumarutanga –ki roto i tō mātou tūtohinga kamupene. Kua whakaū anō hoki te tari pūrongo i ngā mātāpono rā ki roto i tana whakaputanga inakuanei o Ngā Tikanga Mahi Ētita, e uru ai hoki ngā reo katoa o Aotearoa ki roto i ana whakaputanga.

We’ve partnered with Māori Television to increase Māori issues journalism. In NZ Made/Nā Nīu Tīreni we ripped open the scab of New Zealand’s history and reported the unsettling truth about how our country was made.

Kua tūhono atu mātou ki Whakaata Māori hei whakapiki i te taha ki ngā pūrongo Māori. I tā mātou pūurongo o NZ Made/Nā Niu Tīreni, i tīhorea mai ngā hakihaki o te hītori o Aotearoa me ngā kūrakuraku o te waihanganga mai o tēnei motu.

We have developed our own Pou Tiaki section, initially to showcase Māori stories and, later, to represent minority communities too. We’ve begun translating a small number of our stories into te reo Māori. Stuff has also committed to increasing the number of Māori journalists in our newsrooms.

Kua hangaia e mātou he wāhanga Pou Tiaki, mātua ake ki te whakaatu i ngā take Māori, ā, mō muri atu, kia whai kanohi hoki ētahi atu e tokoiti ana. Kua tīmata ake ā mātou whakamāori i ētahi pūrongo ki te reo Māori. E ū ana hoki a Stuff ki te whakapiki i te rahi o ngā kaikawe pūrongo Māori ki roto ki ō mātou tari pūrongo.

We’ve established the Pou Tiaki editor’s role, to help encourage diversity in our thinking and practices. Our new parliamentary press gallery reporter Joel Maxwell is fluent in te reo Māori, focused on politics from a Māori perspective. And, in Auckland we have a new Pasifika-focused reporter, Torika Tokalau.

Kua waihangatia e mātou te tūranga o te ētita Pou Tiaki, hei whakatenatena i te kanorau ki roto ki ō mātou whakaaro, mahi hoki. He tangata reo Māori tō mātou kaikawe pūrongo hou a Joel Maxwell mō te Taiwhanga Pāpāho o te Whare Paremata. Ko tāna he aronui ki ngā tōrangapū mai i te tirohanga ao Māori. Ka mutu, he kaikawe pūrongo hou anō tō mātou a Torika Tokalau kei Tāmaki-makaurau, mō ngā take o Te Moananui-ā-Kiwa.

But, like any commitment, this is not a set and forget.

Heoi ehara kē tēnei whakaūnga i te mea whakarite ka wareware noa.

The distance left to travel on our journey includes ensuring our journalism is for all New Zealanders and trying to repair our relationship with Māori. That will take time and effort, and from time to time we might stumble.

Kei te roanga o te huarahi ki mua ka whakaū mātou i ā mātou mahi pāpāho mō te katoa o Aotearoa ka tahi, ko te whakatika hoki i te tūhononga ki te iwi Māori ka rua. Mā te wā e kitea ai tōna pēheatanga, ā, he wā anō hoki e tutuki ai pea te waewae.

We will, though, continue to hold ourselves to account.

- Stuff Editorial Director Mark Stevens