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Waatea Radio Wins National Award

29 October 2018

Benefits all New Zealanders, not just Māori – says Station GM

Last night in Rotorua, a South Auckland Māori broadcaster, Waatea Radio has won a national award category in the Maori Radio awards.

The station won ‘Best Syndicated Show’ for Te Wero 2017 that covered the general elections for the eight weeks leading up to voting day. It was also a finalist in two other categories; Best Current Affairs and Best Website.

Established in 1999 on frequency 603am, Waetea is Aucklands’ only Māori radio station providing an extensive bi-lingual broadcast from Ngā Whare Waatea marae in Mangere, in the middle of the biggest Māori population in Aotearoa.

Station General Manager, Bernie O’Donnell says it reflects the collective excellence of all the whānau at Waatea and he also credits how language initiatives have strengthened the station tenfold.

“I’m very proud as our team is certainly striving to define what quality is within the industry. We have certainly benefitted from the strategy of te reo Māori revitalisation because when many of the very best speakers end up in the employment space we’ve often had the good fortune to hire them,” O’Donnell says.

His ongoing vision for Waatea in the future is to be known nationally in the sector as the station that gives a Māori perspective, view and voice that’s valued by all Kiwis.

“As the world gets smaller, all of a sudden it becomes bigger because you are hearing so many diverse views and opinions.”

O’Donnell believes the award is important because it showcases Waatea’s standards and what it consistently does daily as a network to best serve the needs of the widest audience.

“It really does puts out to the rest of the world why it’s important to have a Māori station, why we are all individual portals to our region and why collectively Māori radio is a network to be reckoned with,” he says.

The General Manager advocates that the station plays a critical role in the media sector for the benefit of all New Zealanders, not just Māori.

The focus for his production team is to provide content that the rest of the country can listen to so they can make an informed decision.

He believes Waatea fills the gap where there are few opportunities in the media world where the rest of New Zealand can tune in to understand Maori issues.

“It’s about trying to inform all New Zealanders that what’s good for Māori is good for everybody.”


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