MARY-ANNE COERVERS AGAINST KAPITI OBSERVER

Case Number: 2999

Council Meeting: MARCH 2021

Decision: No Grounds to Proceed

Publication: Kapiti Observer

Ruling Categories: Accuracy
Balance, Lack Of
Te Reo and reporting on Te Ao Maori

Overview

On February 11, 2021 the Kāpiti Observer publishedOur Truth – The truth about Aotearoa’s past. Stuff noted that this was Part two ofTā Mātou Pone, the Our Truth series. In this four-page item Stuff explained this series would run over several months and involve around 50 staff.

There was also a personal account from Te Atiawa kaumatua, Teri Puketapu, describing the effects of land confiscation on his iwi and whanau. The history of the various confiscations of the Hutt Valley land in several tranches over the years was outlined.

Mary-Anne Coervers complained that the article made no mention whatsoever that Māori chased and enslaved Moriori and cannibalised them. She said when she spoke toKapiti Observer the gentleman said that scientists had disproved this theory. However she had references from Michael King’sMoriori – A people rediscovered to back her claims. “Moriori deserved their historical events to be included” she said.

The Media Council notes that these articles are the first in an ongoing series that will run over several months. These four pages do not purport to be a comprehensive survey of NZ or even Māori history. They deal in a general way with injustices to Māori and target particular stories. These stories were local to the community newspapers published in the Lower Hutt / Porirua and Kāpiti region.

It is not unbalanced or unfair for there to be no reference to Moriori history.

Further, we note that on February 24 Stuff ran an extensive piece on the Moriori Treaty settlement as it passed its first reading in Parliament.

Finding: Insufficient Grounds to Proceed

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