The Māori Land March of 1975: The Crossroads of Modern New Zealand (2014)
- Arts: Reports 
AuthorsBates, Aliceshow all
This research essay examines the mainstream media representation of the 1975 Māori Land March in order to explore a time of change in New Zealand’s race relations. The 1970s is considered the beginning of New Zealand’s “Māori Renaissance” and the Land March foreshadowed a new cultural agenda that would eventually see the Treaty of Waitangi play a greater role in New Zealand society. I consider the degree to which the Māori voice was evident in the media examination of the Land March and whether this was considered a valid perspective. In addition, I examine the impact of the dominant Pākehā cultural paradigm in the media treatment of the March and consider the various viewpoints regarding the nature and validity of the event. The extent to which the media supported the Land March was limited to the protest’s manifestation as a moderate-liberal approach to change. The coverage exposed a sense of apathy in the media and a lack of serious acknowledgement of the events at hand. Overall, the media representation of the Land March revealed that reactions to the event were complex and nuanced and that an impending shift in New Zealand’s race relations agenda was regarded with caution.