Coloniser discourses in Capital Television nightly news, Waitangi Day 1996 : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Masters of Philosophy in Development Studies at Massey University
Coloniser's discourses which attempted to justify and redeem many of the devastating processes of colonisation around the world have been (re)constructed and repeated in Aotearoa since the 1840's. They include notions of 'progress', 'civilisation', 'social evolution', and the categorisation of bodies into 'races' and 'genders'. These discourses have shaped many of the identities of people living in Aotearoa as well as the political, economic and social developmental path of this country. In 1996 I argue many of these coloniser discourses are repeated and reinforced through the television current affairs and news coverage of Waitangi Day 1996. This being so I argue that imagery is a vital area for academic study because it is through images that we present ourselves to ourselves. Following Clifford and Foucault I approach the 1996 Waitangi Day television news coverage as (re)presentations and constructions of 'truth'. I argue these 'truths' always involve a (re)production of certain political, economic and social discourses at the expense of others. I use theorists such as Irwin, Evans, Dyer and hooks to explore and explain the ways in which different discourses and experiences, some of which may be called anti-colonial, are marginalised by coloniser discourses and journalistic conventions. Using a post structuralist discourse analysis I identify how discourses of 'race' and 'gender' are deployed in Wellington's Capital Television nightly news coverage on 1996 Waitangi Day. In this programme, which claims to present an unmediated 'truth' surrounding the events of 1996 Waitangi Day, I argue that certain voices and experiences are given legitimacy while others are silenced and marginalised. I conclude that generally it is European/New Zealand and male voices which are heard at the expense of Māori and women. I argue that those who do wish to highlight the legacy of colonial ideas in the television media, through legitimate protest, for example Māori sovereignty groups and Pākehā supporters, are marginalised as 'protesters' and 'stirrers' disconnected from their communities and from 'real New Zealanders' on this particular day.