Time to Talk: The hour-long, news-driven format of TVNZ7's News at 8 - in sharp contrast to the One News shock/horror-entertainment and weather-driven bulletin at 6:00pm - allows for considerably more in-depth discussion on the important issues of the day. It's coverage of Waitangi Day 2011 and the growing rift between Hone Harawira and the Maori Party leadership shows what genuine public-service broadcasting could (and should) look like.
A FRANK DISCUSSION on the subjects of Waitangi Day and the future of Hone Harawira took place between myself and Miriama Kamo on yesterday’s (Sunday, 6 February) bulletin of TVNZ 7’s News at 8.
I don’t know how long this will stay up at TVNZ-On-Demand, but at the moment the item can be accessed here http://tvnz.co.nz/tvnz-news-at-8/video (the interview begins two-thirds of the way through "Chapter 1"). [Sadly, the link no longer takes you to the items in question.]
The earlier interview between Miriama and TVNZ’s political reporter, Jessica Mutch, is fascinating. The young journalist clearly cannot conceive of any style of politics that isn’t bound up with the institutional norms of parliamentary representation. Nor is she willing to explore the more likely consequences of her own (or should that be Pita Sharple's?) predictions.
Is Ms Mutch really so lacking in political and historical imagination as to suppose that if Hone Harawira is forced out of the Maori Party he will depart alone? That thousands (especially in Te Tai Tokerau) will not resign from the Maori Party in solidarity with their MP? That the party will not be riven with angry recriminations?
More importantly, can she not see that any splitting of the Maori Party could only have the most serious electoral repercussions for the governing coalition come November?