Shortland Street defends Maori beach storyline

Shortland Street has been forced to defend a storyline that aired last week over allegations it involved discrimination against Maori.

The storyline involved a Pakeha family being asked by local Maori to dish out $10 a head for use of a beach.

The soap’s Maori adviser, Ngamaru Raerino, has defended the plot, saying viewers shouldn’t have jumped to conclusions before the storyline resolved itself.

“When it first comes up it really creates animosity and hostility,” Raerino said. “When I looked at the script I thought, ‘Oh geez’. When I saw it develop, I thought, they’ve offset it by doing other things.”

The story went on to show that a Pakeha campsite owner near the beach was sending sewerage into the sea and the Maori were simply trying to hit the owner in the pocket to force her to change her ways.

“The first thing you think is that those Maori are being mercenary, but those Maori are very slick at what they’re trying to do to the campsite. They’re fighting for their rights, they’re trying to stop sewage from going into the takutaimoana,” Raerino said.

Source: Herald

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  • benpaul12

    When the story line started out and the audience had no idea of
    the reasons behind the Maori charging the money I thought ‘Here we go…’

    But at the end of it (and in a way which was quite predictable)
    Shortland Street had to make the white camp owner look bad in a way to avoid
    complications that would have had far worse claims about racism and generalising.

    I have no problem with Shortland Street pushing their storylines a
    little but, when they make things a
    little too realistic (i.e. pop culture/current events) the show can kind of
    fall apart…I do not tune in because I enjoy edgy relevant to my life
    storylines – I tune in for mindless escapism.