Stuff has held itself accountable for wrongs to Māori – today publishing the results of an investigation into itself, and issuing a public apology for the way the media organisation has portrayed Māori from its first editions to now.
Tā Mātou Pono | Our Truth, led by Pou Tiaki editor Carmen Parahi and editorial director Mark Stevens, shines a light on the way Stuff has been racist in its past and contributed to stigma, marginalisation and stereotypes against Māori.
About 20 Stuff journalists from across the country worked on the project, which examined all digital and print publications, verticals from business to sport, and even Letters to the Editor.
In an editorial by Stevens, he writes: “Our coverage of Māori issues over the last 160 years ranged from racist to blinkered. Seldom was it fair or balanced in terms of representing Māori.
“We are sorry. But apologies are hollow without a commitment to do better in the future. The distance left to travel on our journey includes ongoing consultation and engagement, ensuring our journalism is for all New Zealanders and trying to repair our relationship with Māori. That will take time and effort, and from time to time we might stumble. We will, though, continue to hold ourselves to account.”
Stuff CEO Sinead Boucher says Tā Mātou Pono is one of the most significant investigations the company has undertaken, borne out of the organisation’s new Charter – which sets out principles to guide the business in the future.
“The Stuff Charter sets down a pou tiaki (guard post) to ensure we guard against this kind of inequity in our reporting and business practices in the future.
“Our wish is to be a trusted partner for tangata whenua for generations to come.”