Law students parody sparks race relations discussion

By Talisa Kupenga

A group of University of Auckland (UOA) law students is calling out the New Zealand government for its approach to race relations with Māori. The Auckland Law Revue released its latest YouTube parody clip to start conversations about what more needs to be done to remedy past wrongs towards Māori.

In less than a day a parody clip challenging race relations in New Zealand has hit more than 11,000 YouTube views.

UOA law student John Kingi told Te Kāea, "It was utilising humour and a popular music video to get people to think about race relations in a different way and trying to let people know that our generation actually cares about these issues and that this is something that we should be talking about."

The group's tune 'Sorry' brings to light the contentious history between Māori and Pākehā that has existed for more than170 years. It uses wit and humour to call out what it says is a tokenistic approach by government in its efforts as a Treaty partner.

Mariata Tavioni-Pittman UOA law student says, “Even if you look at the difference between students and the opinions of their parents, it's one generation [difference] and I think already there's a big change. So I think if it keeps going and people keep continuing this discussion, we have a chance at a much brighter future."

In 2013 the group's feminist parody "Defined Lines" gained worldwide recognition. Based on Robin Thick's hit song "Blurred Lines" it racked-up nearly six million views for challenging Thick's message which it believed "blurred the lines between consensual and non-consensual sex".

King says, “It's important that we talk about these issues as young people and that we're the ones who are pushing this forward into the future to ensure that we don't make the same mistakes that we've possibly made as a society in the past."

Jessie Fenton who was involved in the parody video says, “Yeah. If anyone's got to make it right it's got to be us."

Click on the link below to view full video clip