Perfect Beat, Vol 15, No 1 (2014)

Cultural protectionism in a deregulated and diversifying broadcasting environment: Getting more Māori music on air

Jennifer Cattermole
Issued Date: 9 Mar 2015


While radio broadcasting in post-colonial New Zealand has been dominated by Pākehā, Māori have challenged their dominance of the nation’s airwaves in recent decades, having successfully carved out a space for themselves within the New Zealand mediascape. Nevertheless, getting more Māori music (especially songs with te reo lyrics) on radio and other forms of broadcasting media remains a challenge—especially in the New Zealand commercial broadcasting sphere. This challenge has been addressed in various ways by the two organizations mandated to promote Māori language and Māori culture via broadcasting, Te Māngai Pāho (TMP) and New Zealand On Air (NZOA). This article describes and evaluates their responses to calls for more Māori music on air, and suggests further measures that could be implemented to increase the broadcasting of such music. It will also place TMP and NZOA’s strategies in the context of broader New Zealand cultural-political shifts, and changes in the New Zealand broadcasting environment. The article asks whether, or to what extent, cultural protectionism is needed in New Zealand’s current deregulated and diversifying broadcasting environment.

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DOI: 10.1558/prbt.v15i1.17807


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