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Maori Television: A Unique Concept In Television

PANUI PAPAHO/MEDIA STATEMENT
05 February 2004

MAORI TELEVISION: A UNIQUE CONCEPT IN TELEVISION FOR AOTEAROA NEW ZEALAND

The launch of Maori Television next month, Sunday 28 March 2004, will bring to Aotearoa New Zealand a fresh new way of making television that all New Zealanders can be part of.

Acting CEO Ani Waaka said in reality the launch of the channel will be achieved in a very short period of time.

“Maori Television will go to air within 10 months of becoming a legal entity. When the Maori Television Service Act was passed by Parliament in May 2003 this gave us full control of our own affairs. To achieve an on air date less than a year later is no small feat,” she said.

Ms Waaka said the concept that Maori Television has developed is cutting edge, broad reaching and inclusive.

“We have created a television station that we hope all New Zealanders will feel a part of. Our studio facility has been designed so that the public can view television being made at any time of the day or night. We will invite members of the public to participate as live audiences and conduct regular studio tours.

“With news, current affairs, sport, education, lifestyle, drama, rangatahi and tamariki programming just some of the programme genre people will see, and in a mix of Maori and English languages, there is something for all New Zealanders,” she said.

“Maori Television is for Maori and for all New Zealanders. We look forward to launching on March 28 and to making the richness of te reo me nga tikanga Maori (Maori language and culture) available to everyone,” Ms Waaka said.

Transmission

Maori Television recently announced that it had reached an arrangement with Sky Television that will see Maori Television broadcast free-to-air from an existing Sky analogue (UHF) network channel.

The Sky Television UHF channel allows Maori Television to broadcast to an estimated 82% of the New Zealand population. This includes 78% of the M?ori population.

The arrangement with Sky Television finalises the full range of transmission frequencies from which Maori Television will be available free-to-air nationwide. Those are:

1. Via the UHF frequency (for those viewers within the coverage area);
2. Via Satellite (for those viewers outside the coverage area);
3. As a Sky UHF subscriber (button #6 on the Sky Remote);
4. As a Sky Digital subscriber (channel 33 on the Sky Remote).

Maori Television is working with Sky Television to establish the transmission path for the UHF frequency. A test signal is expected to be available from 1 March 2004 and from this date viewers will be able to use to tune-in their television sets to the UHF frequency.

ENDS

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