Netflix cartoon "in no way represents Māori" - Maisey Rika

By Talisa Kupenga

A children's Netflix show is raising eyebrows because of its representation of haka and Māori culture. Justin Time Go's episode 'Let's Haka Dance' shows a man wearing a mask, chanting the haka 'tika tonu'.

A Netflix cartoon showcases its view of Māori culture.

Māori Musician Maisey Rika "One of my children said 'mum! mum! look Māori!' So I went to see what they were watching and I saw a person talking and doing a haka and I was a bit disturbed."

Like Rika other parents have criticised the show saying it mocks and misrepresents Māori. One parent turned it off because her children became confused at the way the haka was displayed.

“The pronunciation, stance, cultural movements, actually all of it has no alignment to us as Māori.”

It's not the first time a cartoon has drawn criticism for its take on Māori culture or the haka. Rika was herself criticized of cultural appropriation at the opening of Universal studio's Volcano Bay in May.

"If we hadn't have gone over that time then that's the show they would have got; a Justine Time Go in front of 4-8-million people."

The show's producers and Netflix were yet to respond to Te Kāea. No complaints have been laid with the Broadcasting Standards Authority however it does not yet have jurisdiction over online/on-demand material from providers such as Netflix.