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New Season Launch for Pukana – on Three Channels!


New Season Launch for Pukana – on Three Channels!

Pioneering Maori language children’s programme PUKANA returns in 2011 with new characters, comedy and competitions – on three channels.

PUKANA kicks off its 13th year of production with a new season launch on Maori Television this Monday February 7 at 6.00 PM. The colourful, hip and funny show goes to air on New Zealand’s national indigenous channel every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

The long-running series also screens on the 100 per cent Maori language channel, Te Reo (weekdays at 7.00 PM), and mainstream broadcaster TV3 (every Sunday at 8.45 AM).

PUKANA is the work of Auckland-based Cinco Cine Film Productions – an award-winning independent film and television production company with a commitment to engage and train young Maori to write, present and produce television.

Originally called TUMEKE, the show won a Qantas Media Award in 2003 and the TV Guide New Zealand Television Award in 1999 for best children’s programme – the first time a show entirely in Maori has taken out the mainstream award.

The target audience is Maori speakers aged between eight and 14 years but viewers range from six to 60 and include many Maori language learners, both Maori and non-Maori.

Producer Pania Papa says the innovative series showcases Maori language to children and youth, and has also provided a platform for the development of young talent on both sides of the camera.

PUKANA presenters Marama Gardiner, Tiare Tawera, Herea Winitana and Faye Peke are all fluent Maori language speakers and talented singers, actors and reporters with a natural rapport with children. In addition, the bilingual performers brainstorm, research and write comedy skits, songs and educational segments for each episode.

Other former presenters include Quinton Hita, Matai Smith, Pirihira Hollings, Te Hamua Nikora, Reikura Morgan and Tumamao Harawira who have all gone on to forge impressive careers in broadcasting. Te Atirau Paki was a presenter for six years, trained as an associate producer and is now a director of the show.

"We are training Maori language speakers as producers and directors and in technical areas like camera and editing so that one day they will produce their own shows,” explains Pania. “Cinco Cine brings a fresh approach based on its kaupapa of commitment to the Maori language and endeavours to normalise the language through its use in television and film, and the adoption of key phrases into mainstream culture.”

PUKANA screens on Maori Television every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at 6.00 PM as well as on Te Reo every weekday at 7.00 PM and TV3 every Sunday at 8.45 AM.


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