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Kiwis deserve more balance from Government media 

In brief 
  • Watching Jack Tame interview first Chris Luxon and then Rawiri Waititi raises questions. 
  • Why wasn’t Waititi pulled up on his dodgy understanding of tax law nor quizzed on co-governance or Māori separatism? 
  • Meanwhile Luxon was grilled on inanities like how much rent he charges tenants. 
  • Government media should at least appear balanced in its approach to both left and right politicians. 

Kiwis deserve better from tax funded government media

Watching Jack Tame interview National party leader Chris Luxon, then Te Pāti Māori (TPM) co-leader Rawiri Waititi, in succession, raises some questions about bias on the part of the Government funded broadcaster. 

Jack Tame interviews Chris Luxon 

In a recent interview with Chris Luxon on 1news’ political show Q&A, interviewer Jack Tame grilled the National party leader on his party’s costing regarding their proposed tax policy and other issues. Tame at times practically shouted over him, cut him off repeatedly and chided him for his alleged attempts to dodge questions. 

Kiwis deserve more balance from Government media  - Centrist
Jack Tame seems to give the kid gloves to Rawiri Waititi in comparison to his interview with Luxon. Image from YouTube

At one point, Tame badgered Luxon on whether or not National’s proposed housing policy meant Luxon himself would drop rents on his own tenants as it’s known the leader has investments in rental housing. 

Luxon didn’t quite know how to answer before explaining to Tame that he quite frankly hadn’t thought about his own personal position regarding his private arrangements in light of the policy his party was proposing. 

Regardless of what you may have thought of Luxon’s answers, it was clear Tame was determined to put Luxon in the hot seat. 

Waititi gets the soft touch from Tame

A subsequent interview with Te Pāti Māori (TPM) co-leader Rawiri Waititi seemed a lot different. 

Tame allowed Waititi the opportunity to speak mostly without interruption. Waititi’s confusing and meandering answers demanded some follow up from Tame, which he did provide, but it was with a very light touch compared to the lambasting he gave Luxon.

Even when Waititi said that National and ACT wanted Māori to die 7-10 years earlier, Tame let him off the hook with his response.

“It’s in their actions,” Waititi said after failing to name any ACT or National politician who specifically said as much. 

Waititi did not appear to have a clear understanding of how taxation worked in New Zealand or abroad as he attempted to compare and contrast tax policies with overseas jurisdictions. He mistakenly stated Australia had a wealth tax and when corrected didn’t appear to appreciate the difference between GST and a wealth tax. Nor did Waititi appear to understand how a trust worked when quizzed on how a wealth tax may impact trustees and beneficiaries. Tame did not press very hard on Waititi to give a better picture on his overall level of understanding on these points. 

No mention of co-governance

Tame did not feel the need to interrupt when Waititi shared his interpretation of the Treaty of Waitangi, the interpretation often favoured by co-governance advocates. 

Tame decided not to bring up the topic of co-governance at all. 

Why Tame would miss the obvious elephants in the room of co-governance and Māori self-determination when interviewing the leader of TPM is both a mystery and a missed opportunity. 

Of course some of the difference in style may be attributable to the fact that Waititi isn’t set to become New Zealand’s next Prime Minister, while Luxon may be headed for the highest office in the land. But is that a good enough explanation? 

Minor parties are still important players. Should Labour win the election, they may very well need TPM to form a government. 

Feature image from YouTube

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