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Maori TV To Launch Inaugural Election Coverage

Maori Television To Launch Inaugural Election Coverage

Maori Television will launch the first of its special programmes for the 2005 General Election with the premiere of WHAKAWHITIWHITI on Monday August 8 at 8.00 PM.

WHAKAWHITIWHITI is a six-part interview-based series hosted by veteran journalist Wena Harawira that will examine the issues pertinent to Maoridom through interviews with major party leaders in the lead-up to the General Election, set for Saturday September 17 2005.

The WHAKAWHITIWHITI series is a key part of Maori Television’s election programming, branded as Kowhiri 05 (NB to media: Election 05), and will broadcast daily on Maori Television at 8.00 PM from Monday August 8 to Friday August 12, with the final episode screening on Sunday August 14.

Each episode aims to explore issues crucial to Maori voters in the 2005 election and includes interviews with party leaders, panel discussions, field reports and archival footage depicting the history of the relationship between Maori and the political sphere.

WHAKAWHITIWHITI is broadcast in both English and Maori languages and party leader interviews are conducted by presenter Wena Harawira, while party profiles have been compiled by leading Maori journalists Gideon Porter and Rereata Makiha.

Episode one of WHAKAWHITIWHITI (Monday August 8 at 8.00 PM) opens with a profile report of the National Party history, including former Prime Minister Robert Muldoon’s historic call for the 1984 snap election. The programme then moves to a two-part interview with National Party leader Don Brash. The second half of the episode concentrates on a profile of Destiny New Zealand and the episode ends with an interview with Destiny New Zealand leader Richard Lewis.

Episode two (Tuesday August 9 at 8.00 PM) begins with a history of Maori and politics. The programme then links to a profile report of the Maori Party before cutting to an interview with Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia. The episode wraps with an interview with former Maori MP Tirikatene Sullivan, who represented the Labour Party from 1967 to 1996, discussing the trials and tribulations of serving New Zealand as a Maori politician.

Wednesday August 10 at 8.00 PM sees the ACT Party profiled and an interview with ACT Party leader Rodney Hide. The second half of this episode is dedicated to the history of United Future and the episode wraps with an interview with United Future leader Peter Dunn.

Episode four (Thursday August 11 at 8.00 PM) concentrates on the history of Maori voters and the historic relationship with the Labour Party. Beginning with an overview of the party’s Rogernomics period and notable party milestones, the episode features an interview with current Prime Minister and Labour Party leader Helen Clark.

Friday August 12 at 8.00 PM will see the broadcast of a profile of the NZ Progressive Party, before throwing to an interview with NZ Progressive Party leader Jim Anderton. The second half of the episode is dedicated to the Green Party profile, ending with an interview with Green Party co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimmons.

The final episode of WHAKAWHITIWHITI will screen on Sunday August 14 at 8.00 PM. The episode opens with a profile report of the NZ First Party, before leading into an interview with NZ First leader Winston Peters. The final episode and the series concludes with a panel discussion headed by Maori Television presenter Julian Wilcox. The panel – including former Secretary of Maori Affairs and Te Runanga o Taranaki Whanau te Upoko o te Ika a Maui chief executive officer Kara Puketapu, Te Tau Ihu o Te Waka a Maui executive deputy chairman Paul Morgan and University of Auckland political science researcher Kaapua Smith – will discuss the issues that have been raised throughout the series and analyse those that will be most pertinent to registered Maori voters in the upcoming election.
Presenter Wena Harawira (Ngai Tuhoe, Ngai Te Rangi, Ngati Ranginui) was a founding member of TVNZ’s Maori news programme Te Karere more than 20 years ago and was also the programme’s first female reporter / presenter. She went on to work for Mana News and Mana Magazine, before becoming a published author and editor. Her television experience includes reporting and presenting for TVNZ’s magazine programme, Marae, sub-editing news bulletins for BBC Wales, researching and narrating several mainstream documentaries and producing a range of government, corporate and educational videos. She currently produces ands presents Maori Television’s weekly flagship current affairs programme Te Heteri each Wednesday at 8.00 PM.

Reporter Gideon Porter (Ngapuhi, Ngai Tuhoe) has nearly 20 years’ experience in both mainstream and Maori media. He spent four years early in his career at Mana Maori Media and the majority of his career at Radio New Zealand, TV3’s 3 News and TVNZ’s One News. He is widely recognised for his achievements as a Maori journalist working within the mainstream environment. Mr Porter was recently appointed as producer of Te Heteri, Maori Television’s weekly current affairs programme.

And, reporter Rereata Makiha (Ngapuhi, Te Arawa) has 20 years’ experience as a reporter, news editor, director and presenter. He has held senior positions at TVNZ’s Te Karere and Marae programmes, and has extensive radio news experience, having held senior reporting and news editor positions at Mana News Service and Ruia Mai. Mr Mahika was recently appointed by Maori Television to the channel’s news and current affairs team to provide specialist training and support.

WHAKAWHITIWHITI broadcasts on Maori Television from Monday August 8 to Friday August 12 at 8.00 PM, with the final episode screening on Sunday August 14 at 8.00 PM.


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