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Maori TV Series Winner Of Qantas Media Award

Maori Television Parenting Series Winner Of Qantas Media Award

In a landmark first for the channel, Maori Television parenting series PEPI has won the Qantas Media Award for the Best Information Programme at the 2005 broadcasting awards ceremony last night. (Note to media : Friday May 20 2005)

The award marks a significant achievement for the channel, which has entered the Qantas Awards for the first time and is in its second year of broadcasting. PEPI – an observational reality series where four first-time Maori parents are followed through the first year of their babies’ lives – was placed first in the Best Information Programme category for an episode broadcast on the channel on November 2 2004.

PEPI is produced by Maori Television’s programming department and producer Megan Douglas says the award-winning episode in question followed the birth of Glen Innes-based teen couple Kataraina Davis and Jerome Cowley’s baby Psalm.

“This shoot was carefully prepared and made possible first and foremost by the generosity and co-operation of our talent. They are a very courageous couple to allow our cameras into the intimate context of the birth of their first child. We consciously steered away from any explicit shots; the focus for us was on what was going on around Kataraina and how she was feeling, while the narration was informative about the procedures.”

PEPI first launched on Maori Television on Tuesday October 5 2004. Although the series marked Douglas’ debut as a producer and the production team was relatively inexperienced, claiming the award has added powerful credibility to what has been a ground-breaking series.

“Most of what occurred with our parents during the series could be predicted, because we knew what the hurdles would be for first-time parents. Other aspects, such as the later difficulties experienced by Kataraina and Jerome when baby Psalm contracted meningitis, were chance occurrences. The distinction that this programme enjoys is that it is character-driven, rather than an expert or presenter-driven,” Douglas says.

One of the judge’s comments relayed at the ceremony was that the episode provided “a gripping and involving piece of television, fulfilling the producers’ aim to deconstruct a widely-held negative belief about Maori parenting.”

Maori Television chief executive officer Jim Mather says "the success of PEPI reflects the unique style of programming on Maori Television. We are proud of this award and all of the people involved with PEPI.”

PEPI continues to broadcast on Maori Television every Tuesday evening at 8.00 PM.


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