Radio host's iwi road blocks interview 'amplified racism towards Māori' - BSA decision

By Te Ao - Māori News
A Ngāti Porou Covid-19 roadblock.  Photo / File 

A radio interview about the legal basis for iwi roadblocks under Covid-19 restrictions has been ruled to have "amplified negative stereotypes about Māori and had the potential to cause widespread harm," the Broadcasting Standards Authority (BSA) has ruled.

The BSA upheld two complaints about an interview by radio host Sean Plunket for Magic Talk Afternoons in which he spoke with Te Whānau ā Apanui spokesperson Louis Rapihana.

Source / Magic Talk

The authority found that the interview in which the iwi spokesperson was questioned about the eastern Bay of Plenty level 4 roadblocks and what the iwi intended to do if anyone refused to comply, was "offensive and harmful to Māori".

“The broadcaster felt the segment did not contain a ‘high level of vitriol’. We disagree,” the authority said.

"Mr Plunket’s comments and approach had the effect of reflecting and amplifying casual racism towards Māori.

“We consider Mr Plunket’s tone, dismissiveness, repeated interruptions of Mr Rapihana and the comments he made following the interview, were either intended to encourage harmful tropes and views, or reflected ignorance at a level that is offensive and harmful to Māori.”

Given the high level of harm, the authority decided that a broadcast statement and $3000 in costs to the Crown were appropriate.