Jamming Imperialism: Māori Radio and Postcolonial New Zealand
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New Zealand as a nation state was born imperial with the 1840 Treaty of Waitangi. The Treaty established a partnership between Māori, the indigenous people, and the British Crown. The Treaty underpins all aspects of modern New Zealand. New Zealand’s history has been one of colonisation with Māori being displaced, despoiled, and deprived of their land, language, and culture. In line with this history of imperial control, radio broadcasting in New Zealand developed according to foreign models. A British-styled BBC model predominated until the 1980s when the wholesale adaptation of neoliberal ideologies saw New Zealand’s media restructured along commercial lines. At the same time, there was a resurgence and revitalisation of Māori culture and influence in New Zealand based around the Treaty of Waitangi. This article outlines the roles of imperialism in the development of New Zealand radio before analysing the rise of Māori broadcasting as a counter-imperial response along with the increasing importance played the Māori language (Te Reo Māori) in New Zealand’s postcolonial media culture.