Media, Film and Television


Media, Health and Wellbeing

Negative and limited media representations of Maori are of major concern. They affect Maori/Pakeha relations, how Maori see themselves and health and wellbeing - ultimately undermining the fundamentals of equity and justice in our society. Kupa Taea, a specialist media studies group within Whariki, has worked to critique such media representations of Maori and articulate alternative framings.

  • Kupu Taea researchers have released a review of international studies on mass media representations of indigenous peoples published since 2000. The intention of this review is to stimulate international discussions and collaborations among the many scholars who have seen the importance of mass media representations to the ongoing colonisation of Indigenous peoples. Read more

  • Kupu Taea research over a decade has found that Maori are under-represented in mass media coverage and portrayed in profoundly negative ways when they are covered. Read more

  • Audience focus groups show that both Maori and Pakeha are negatively affected by contemporary biased media coverage of Maori and Maori /Pakeha relations with reported effects on sense of self. Read more

  • Kupu Taea developed a resource that outlines alternatives to anti-Maori themes found in news media. Download the pamphlet here.


Affect and Identity in contemporary television drama

Although widely understood as entertainment, television dramas bring highly selected ‘realities’ to the screen influencing identity, norms, practices and the kinds of lives, communities and nation people aspire to and foster. The study aims to understand how contemporary Aotearoa/New Zealand television dramas (e.g. comedies, soap operas, series and one-offs) influence local audiences, with a focus on Maori representations and Maori/non- Maori relationships. It will extend Kaupapa Maori film theory and engage with studies on affect (emotions, feelings and behaviours).

A Marsden Fast Start project; funded by The Marsden Fund Council from Government funding, administered by the Royal Society of New Zealand (contract MAU1307)


Our Own Image

Two hui (Leeds 2015 and Auckland 2016) explored and celebrated the legacy of our early Maori filmmakers, specifically three major figures: Barry Barclay, Merata Mita and Don Selwyn. The two-day hui in Auckland included exciting presentations from whanau and colleagues of the filmmakers, new and experienced Maori working in film and researchers and academics. Participants were able to view rarely exhibited Maori feature films. A website featuring the filmed presentations is in development.  

The project is a collaboration between University of Leeds, UK and Whariki, Massey University, Aotearoa with funding from The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), United Kingdom.

More information about our Media, Film and Television research here