When challenged over TVNZ’s lack of diversity in 2007, then chief executive Rick Ellis told a select committee that TVNZ had Police 10-7 which offered a Māori presence that met charter requirements.
I know, jaw-dropping right?
As America struggles to come to terms with an out of control Police force and has a Black Lives Matter moment of conscience, many aspects of how African Americans are portrayed and treated are coming under a cultural microscope. Seeing as Māori are so negatively impacted by a biased Police force and Justice system, should that scrutiny extend to New Zealand’s own Police 10-7?
The TV show Cops in America has been cancelled and The Daily Show recently highlighted research that showed almost 80% of Americans had no interaction with Police ever and that the reality of police brutality was eclipsed by what they see on TV dramas and reality shows.
A 2012 analysis of 15 episodes of Police Ten 7 showed Māori were overrepresented, but the issue goes much further than that.
When the cameras are on, the Police are clearly operating within the best practise model. Police are always nice, funny and portrayed as helpful, which is not a reality for many when dealing with the Police.
Police 10-7 is a recruitment tool, it isn’t an actual true representation of Police interaction with New Zealanders and when activists argue about police abuse of power in NZ, all the public see are nice officers helping.
Perhaps the lesson here is not to dump Police 10-7 but to actually demand that level of assistance and professionalism with every interaction by insisting body cameras on NZ Police?
Cops behave when there is a camera on them, so let’s put those cameras on them all the time.