Entertainment | Social influencer

Speaker controversies shut down M9′s ‘Ngāti Pae Pāpori’ event

The show promised Māori social media influencers would take to the stage to share kōrero about their experiences.

In a post to social media today, M9 organisers said after careful consideration and wānanga, they had decided to cancel Ngāti Pae Pāpori - Māori Influencing social media, which had been due to take place in Te Whanganui-a-Tara on June 27.

That came after two incidents involving speakers at the event.

The M9 series, known as the Māori TedX, has attracted packed halls as 54 speakers from the arts, culture, music and screen industry spoke over the past three years.

The first sign that this iteration was in trouble came on Monday when the organisers took to social media to announce that one of the kaikōrero had been taken off the list of speakers.

“We take the safety and wellbeing of our hapori seriously. We have become aware of allegations involving a kaikōrero, which the kaikōrero denies,” the post to Instagram said.

But Te Ao Māori News also revealed that day that two of the speakers - social influencers Nix and Millie Elder-Holmes - both promoted online gambling on their platforms.

But on Tuesday two online social media influencers outlined their deep frustration about international gambling companies reaching out to them to promote gambling.

“It just didn’t feel right’

Jabez Makawe, a respected barber and widely followed content creator, was approached by an influencer manager from RollXO and N1Bet - two sites based in the island nation of Curacao in the Caribbean. They proposed he create a brief 20-30-second video to be shared in his social media stories.

“I didn’t want to do it… It just didn’t feel right to push it on my audience that I’ve worked hard to build,” Makawe said.

The manager has sent at least three more emails to Jabez since the initial request.

Te Ao Māori News made many attempts to get comment from the organisers and influencers, to no avail.

In today’s announcement on social media, the organisers said: “M9 is a Tiriti-led social enterprise partnership, that over the past three years has endeavoured to create a platform to speak on kaupapa of importance through kaikōrero Māori here in Aotearoa for tangata whenua and tangata tiriti alike.”

M9 organisers say they are sad for the kaikōrero and ticket holders and advised people who had already bought tickets to contact Ticketmaster to request a refund.