TVNZ commissions independent review into Police Ten 7 amid racism claims

It's best known for its first-hand view of law enforcement, but TVNZ's Police Ten 7 is now under investigation itself.

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an independent panel has been assembled to look at claims the show peddles racist stereotypes. Source: 1 NEWS

TVNZ has commissioned an independent panel to look into how the show portrays Māori and Pasifika, along with other ethnic groups. It also asked for recommendations for future production and promotion of the show.

Auckland councillor Efeso Collins says all the show is doing "is monetising people's poor and vulnerable experiences”. 

TVNZ director of content Cate Slater says the broadcaster must ensure it is "constantly evolving to keep pace with viewer expectations and changing societal norms".

It comes after Collins called for it to be cancelled earlier this year, claiming the show - produced by Screentime - fed into racial stereotypes.

“TVNZ taking a half step, I reckon, by having this review but it should be canned."

Slater said TVNZ will “look at all options, actually, to make sure that we are doing the right thing,” including cancelling the show.

However, Slater said the top-rated show, which has run for 28 seasons, does a lot of good.

“A lot of crimes are solved off the back of Police Ten 7 so we still think that there is a lot that Police Ten 7 does and it's got an audience - a really loyal audience,” she said.

Police are in contract negotiations with Screentime ahead of their current deal, which runs out at the end of this year.

It says it wants to look at how the show can be more representative of the work police do.

Police already have the power to make editing calls, which TVNZ says is a standard practice for shows using government agencies.

The two-person panel will report back to TVNZ in six to eight weeks.