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Govt Switches On Mäori Television Service Laws

Government Switches On Mäori Television Service Legislation

Mäori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia says yesterday's passing of the Mäori Television Service (Te Aratuku Whakaata Irirangi Mäori) Bill will mark a new era in New Zealand broadcasting, and more importantly in Mäori broadcasting.

The legislation establishes the Mäori Television Service as a statutory corporation, providing it with the full powers and abilities to proceed with the development of the Mäori television channel.

Mr Horomia said a dedicated Mäori Television channel has been a long time coming, eagerly awaited by Mäori and non-Mäori around the country.

"I am proud to be part of a Government that has remained focused on its commitment to promoting and protecting Mäori language and culture and providing an outlet for showcasing Mäori achievement"

"I feel confident that the vast majority of New Zealanders will be active viewers of the channel. For Mäori in particular the channel will provide a new opportunity to interact with the Mäori language and culture, to learn, and to be entertained. It will also provide opportunities for the present social and economic development of Mäori to be better understood. The channel will assist to inspire us all, and to challenge us about who we are"

Mr Horomia said the amendments recommended by the Mäori Affairs Select Committee provide greater clarity in some areas and will assist those parties who have to work with the legislation.

The Minister says today would not have been possible without significant consultation, negotiation and agreement by many Mäori groups in particularly the NZ Mäori Council, Ngä Kaiwhakapümau i te Reo, Te Awhiorangi (the Reo Mäori Television Trust) and Te Putahi Paoho (the Mäori Television Service Electoral College).

"While yesterday was significant, there is still a lot of work ahead of the Mäori Television Service to ensure the channel goes to air later this year."

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