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'A really good time to laugh' - Australian TV series featuring dysfunctional Tongan gets positive reaction from some

A new series of Australian comedian Chris Lilley's show Jonah From Tonga is due to screen on Maori TV tonight, amid claims of racism, the show has also seen a positive reaction from some within the Tongan community.

Will 'llolahia, a founder of the Polynesian Panthers, was consulted by Maori TV as part of their decision to air the show, he told 1 NEWS.

"Us Tongans will actually take this show as a really good time to laugh, and I think we need to laugh a bit more these days."

Tongan Advisory Council Chairman Melino Maka echoed the sentiments.

"I'm a big fan of Jonah and I think we need to learn from some of the issues he actually raises rather than fear of what he may expose."

Not everyone agrees the show is just a bit of a laugh though, Minister for Pacific Peoples Alfred Ngaro thinks the show only serves to reinforce negative stereotypes of young Pasifika men.

"There are so many really good things that are happening in the Pasifika community and with our young people.

"For example sporting and academic achievements, I want to be more pro-active around supporting those types of messages," Mr Ngaro told 1 NEWS.

The character of Jonah first appeared on Kiwi screens in 2008 on Lilley's show Summer Heights High, which aired on TVNZ's channel 1.