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Maharey backs Maori Television

16 April 2003 Media Statement

Maharey backs Maori Television

Broadcasting Minister Steve Maharey is backing the Maori Television Service and says constant criticism levelled at the channel will not stop it going to air.

Speaking in Hamilton this evening to media studies teachers about current issues in broadcasting, Steve Maharey said MTS will provide a unique vehicle for Maori issues and perspectives to be discussed and disseminated to all New Zealanders.

“Establishing the Maori Television Service (MTS) is one the most exciting public broadcasting projects ever attempted in New Zealand.

“There is a growing appetite, especially among young New Zealanders, for television programmes by and about Maori. Shows like Mataku, which screened on TV3 last year, and the phenomenal success of Whale Rider prove this.

“International examples like the Welsh television channel, Sianel Pedwar Cymru (S4C), also suggest it will have a major impact on Maori social, cultural and economic development. Many in Wales now credit that channel with saving the Welsh language.

“Despite the doomsayers it is clear that MTS has a ready made audience and will fill an important niche in the public broadcasting landscape.

“The establishment of this channel is the end of a long, hard road, going back to the 1960s and the emergence of Maori language advocacy groups. I’m confident it will be worth the wait,” Steve Maharey said.

ENDS

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