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Friday morning, April 11 2014 saw a complaint lodged with CNN about a story recently aired by one of their reporters, Ms. Jeanne Moos, regarding the pōwhiri held at Government House, Wellington, New Zealand for Their Royal Highnesses; the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
In this report she referred to the exposed nature of one of the tangata-whenua causing a ‘royal bummer’, questioning whether it is ‘any way to welcome a future king and queen?’ Ms Moos continued in dubbing a haka by the New Zealand Army in Afghanistan as a routine of ‘slapping and thrusting’, and trivialised other protocol such as the hongi: ‘forget about rubbing shoulders’, and the haka further more: 'a cross between a Chippendale lap dance and the mating dance of an emu'
I am aware that Ms. Moos is of some repute for her reporting on what appear to be more unusual stories from current affairs. However her blatant disregard for, and insensitive commentary concerning the Māori culture and its customs are inadmissible. Though these practices might seem out of the ordinary for someone who is not familiar with New Zealand or its traditions, there are never any grounds in which to mock these is in anyway tolerable.
Though I myself am not Māori (a Pākehā (European), rather), I am a New Zealander. I as a New Zealander, who has grown up like many others; surrounded by this culture, am not comfortable to see injurious, disrespectful and ill-bred ‘journalism’ be published. In belittling the Māori culture, you deprecate an entire, multicultural nation.
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