#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive: Indigenous understanding missing in Native Affairs interview

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Monday, September 14, 2009

Indigenous understanding missing in Native Affairs interview

The Native Affairs interview with Frank Bainimarama, more than any other TV interview, should've revealed an understanding of the issues - tangata whenua of Aotearoa getting a good grip on the supposed self-development aspirations of the military government.

Unfortunately, that was not the case. The Maori current affairs programme was out of its depth and did not have the information to deflect the Commodore's glib answers.

If they did, then it's possible Julian Wilcox chose not to use it, for fear of the military leader walking off and giving the New Zealand journos a taste of what the local journos have been enduring for some months, gagging.

A pity because the Maori team could've put the Commodore on the spot about a number of things that palagi reporters would not have been able to get away with - for example: Commodore, is this really the way ahead for the people of Fiji? Is this the best way ahead for people development? Is this the only way to shed the colon ial trappings of the past?

It might have been better, too, for Native Affairs to have stuck to a few key areas rather than trying to get definitive answers to everything.

The recent suspension from the Commonwealth, the stinging remarks of the premier of Niue Toke Talagi, the censorship of the media, the failed elections, NZ and Australia's refusal to buckle, and the ill-conceived alliance between Mahendra Chaudry and Laisenia Qarase would've been a big enough feast for this occassion.

These were covered fleetingly in the programme; the team would've got more mileage out of Bainimarama if they had kept it tight. Instead, the show came off with a strong suggestion it was made with the help of the interim government.

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