Report – By Shilo Kino
A PIMA fundraising event titled Are Māori and Pacific Peoples Really ‘bros’? will focus on Pacific and Māori relations in the media.
PIMA interim chair Will ‘IIolahia said there was a need to discuss Māori and Pasifika relations, especially when both are fighting for the same cause.
“The media, being the fourth estate, has a really strong influence on the people, which is why Pacific Islanders and Māori need to get on the same page.
“We both have one thing in common; we are both portrayed in a negative light by mainstream media and yet we have a great impact globally,” ‘IIolahia said in a Pacific Scoop interview.
‘IIolahia also said he wanted to get the message across that Māori and Pacific Islanders belonged to the same Polynesian race.
‘Ilolahia, a New Zealand-born Tongan, characterised himself as a “strong supporter” of Māori.
He highlighted the “fight” for Māori rights in the Treaty of Waitangi as pivotal.
“In the end, we are all the same race and Pacific Islanders cannot solve their problems until Māori solve their issues,” he argued.
The fundraiser will be held behind closed doors and takes place on November 6 at the Manhattan Function Centre in Mt Roskill.
At the event, controversial Mana Party MP Hone Harawira will be the keynote speaker.
According to ‘IIolahia, this would give all those attending a chance to see where he, as a strong Māori leader, stood.
Yolande Ah Chong, morning show host for Pacific Media Network’s Radio 531 Pi, will be asking Harawira the tough questions.
“Is he really our Polynesian bro? That’s what we will find out.
“Yolande’s very infamous on putting people on the spot. She’s good at her gig – that’s why we chose her,” Ilolahia said.
The Pacific Islands Media Association was established in 2001 as an advocacy group to encourage more Pacific people to join the media industry and support those already working there.
More than 250 Pasifika and Māori media people, community members and members of the public are expected to attend.
Tickets for PIMA’s fundraiser cost $50 each or $450 for a table of 10.
Shilo Kino is a Graduate Diploma in Pacific Journalism student at AUT University writing for Pacific Media Watch and Pacific Scoop.