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Maori TV Q&A

MAORI TELEVISION SERVICE
QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

What is the government doing?
The government is establishing a high quality, cost effective, Maori television service in both Maori and English, which will inform, educate, and entertain and in doing so reflect and enrich NZ society, culture and heritage.


What is the Maori Television Service?
The Maori Television Service will be a statutory corporation with a seven member board, three of whom will be appointed by the government and 4 of whom will be appointed by an electoral college of Maori organisations.


Why do we need a Maori Television Service?
Maori culture and language matters to Maori and New Zealanders as a whole. It is a critical part of the unique identity of New Zealand. The service will give tikanga Maori and te reo a strong, independent voice, which is not diluted by the constraints and competing priorities which inevitably apply to a mainstream commercial broadcaster.

Both the Crown and Maori recognise obligations to protect and promote te reo Maori as a taonga. The government gave undertakings in the Broadcasting Assets case in 1991 to provide for Maori television as one means of meeting this obligation. A Maori Television Service will ensure a dedicated channel for broadcasting Maori programmes, in both te reo Maori and English, to Maori and non-Maori alike. Maori programming at peak times is unlikely to occur on mainstream television. Maori television will help present New Zealand's stories, perspectives, heritage, culture and languages on air.


Why a statutory corporation?
The Government will be a partner with Maori in establishment of the Maori Television Service. There are unique aspects of this entity, such as the appointment of four board members by the Maori electoral college, which makes it appropriate that it is set up under its own legislation.


Who owns the Service?
The Maori Television Service will be a statutory corporation. Issues such as ownership will be specified in the Maori Television Services Act, to be introduced to the House this year.

Who controls the Service?
The Service will be governed by the seven member board. The board will set the direction for the television service, make high level strategic decisions and monitor its performance. One of their key tasks will be to employ a chief executive to put in place the necessary personnel support to enable a fully functional channel to go to air.


What will the Electoral College do?
The functions and duties of the Electoral College will include:
„h Appointing and dismissing the four directors for the Maori Television Service; and
„h Receiving updates on progress towards the establishment of the Maori Television Service;
„h Appointing 3 members to the ¡§Kaitiaki Trust¡¨, which will hold the management rights for the UHF frequency bands and assign them to the Maori Television Service.


Who will be able to receive the channel?
We hope that the service will be available across all of New Zealand and practically accessible to as many people as possible. Approximately 70 per cent of New Zealand households should be able to receive the channel on UHF frequencies. The channel could also be simulcast on a digital satellite service.


Who is going to watch it?
All New Zealanders with an interest in our people, our communities, our culture, our heritage, and our future.


Will it be in Maori or English?
The service must place a strong emphasis on the promotion of te reo Maori. There will, however, also be Maori interest programmes broadcast in English.


What about TVNZ?
TVNZ will continue to produce its own original Maori programmes, at least to current levels after the new service has started. TVNZ will have charter commitments to meet. TVNZ will continue to receive funding for Maori programming.


What changes can we expect to see in relation to Maori television programmes on other channels?
The Maori Television Service will be broadcasting Maori programmes at peak times for its audiences. This means that programmes currently broadcast on other channels can also be broadcast on the Maori Television Service. Apart from programme funding toward TVNZ programmes, other programmes commissioned by Te Mangai Paho or NZ on Air are likely to be screened for the first time on the Maori Television Service.


Does this end litigation?
Many people have worked hard to get to this point, Government and key Maori stakeholders. The Maori Television Trust, Te Awhiorangi, has agreed to "dissolve" so that this project can go forward.


How involved have Maori in the industry been?
Key Maori stakeholders have been involved in developing this proposal. The Maori Television Trust trustees have played a crucial role in negotiating with Ministers and officials over the Service, as have representatives of key national Maori organisations.


How much is it going to cost?
There are two types of costs: those for operational purposes and funding for the production of Maori programmes.

Officials estimate that up to $6 million (GST incl) per annum will be required to run the Maori television service and meet transmission costs. Government set aside $10.863 million in 2001/02 and $10 million in years after that for the Maori television channel. Given that the service will be in establishment mode for the next few months, officials have estimated that approximately $3.8 million of that will be required by the Board for the first year. The remaining $7 million will go to funding programmes for future broadcast on the Maori television service.

In terms of Maori programmes, approximately $22.9 million was allocated by Te Mangai Paho and New Zealand on Air in 2000/01 for the production of Maori programmes. Funding will continue to be allocated through Te Mangai Paho, and while it is envisaged that the Maori Television Service will have a capability to make inhouse programmes, it is likely that most of the new programmes broadcast on the new service will be produced by independent producers.

The Crown recognises that it still has an obligation to provide some Maori programming on mainstream television as well. It is intended that in the future this obligation will be met by ensuring that TVNZ continues to produce and broadcast at least its existing level of inhouse production.

The objective is to enable the service to broadcast a minimum of three hours a day of original programming by its third year. This will require up to an additional $7.391 million (GST incl.) in 2002/03, up to $14.783 million in 2003/04, and $22.174 million in 2004/05 and out years.

Total funding available for Maori television programming will be ($million):
2000/01 2001/02 2002/03 2003/04 2004/05
22.9 29.9 34.291 41.683 49.074

The bulk of this will be for Maori Television Service programming.


When does the Service go to air?
It is anticipated that the Service will ¡§go to air¡¨ in June 2002.


What happens next?
a) Legislation is being drafted to set up the Service and will be introduced to Parliament this year.

b) Key Maori organisations involved in promoting te reo Maori will be contacted this week in relation to their forming an interim electoral college (for the transition period prior to the enactment of the Maori Television Service Bill) and agreement to be included in the Act as forming the full Electoral College.


How does this differ from Aotearoa Television?
Governance structures within this new service will be rigorous. Appointees to Board will be rigorously scrutinised, by the government and the electoral college, to ensure they have necessary experience and acumen. The statutory nature of the service ensures its transparency and accountability.


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