Auckland Law Revue confronts NZ race relations in parody

  • 21/08/2016
Auckland Law Revue Justin Bieber parody (Youtube/Auckland Law Revue)
Auckland Law Revue Justin Bieber parody (Youtube/Auckland Law Revue)

The Auckland Law Revue has tackled race relations in New Zealand with a satirical parody of Justin Bieber's 'Sorry'.

The video is a rewritten version of Bieber's famous song that imagines an apology from the Government over the way they acted around the Treaty of Waitangi.

The video's blurb says, "'Obviously' race relations here in NZ are 100% brilliant.

"But have you ever wondered what it would look like if our government admitted that they weren't? If they apologised for the way they acted during and after the Treaty of Waitangi was signed?

"Well, wonder no more - the Auckland Law Revue had a think about how an official governmental apology to the Maori people would go... We came to the conclusion pretty quickly that it's a bit too late to say sorry..."

The music video features law students dressed in colonial European attire and dancing in the style of the original Bieber video, famously choreographed by Kiwi Parris Goebel.

One of the participants of the video, Jason Kingi, told Newshub the parody was about making a serious issue accessible for a younger generation.

"We tried to use humour, and obviously a very popular music video, to try to get people to talk about an issue that perhaps we can become a bit uncomfortable about discussing," says Mr Kingi.

Mr Kingi says the video asks if there are ways we can look back on our past and "try to avoid mistakes that perhaps we've made previously".

"As the video says, a lot of us still use language similar to Don Brash at Orewa, and it's just trying to get people to consider that maybe there's a different way we can talk about race relations in this country."

The video has received more than 70,000 views across Facebook and YouTube, and Mr Kingi says it is "heart-warming" to see people tagging their friends in the video and having discussions about race relations.

The Auckland Law Revue has been known to cover topical issues in comedic music videos, with a 2013 parody of Robin Thicke's 'Blurred Lines' that addressed misogyny hitting 5 million views.