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Maori TV a rallying point for tangata whenua

26 March 2004 Media Statement

Maori television a rallying point for tangata whenua

The Maori Television Service is a rallying point for efforts to revitalise the language and culture of tangata whenua, and their contribution to national life, according to Associate Maori Affairs Minister Tariana Turia.

"Broadcasting is one key way to support our reo. That means our language – it also means the voices of our people. We do not see and hear enough of our people in the media, giving their views on things that are important to them.

"Public debate of this kind helps our people to analyse and digest issues, and make up their own minds. The media have a tremendously important role to play in our development as tangata whenua.

"I know our people look forward to a television channel that celebrates our positive achievements, puts our own perspective on issues that critically affect us, and helps to communicate the whole range of our peoples' views.

"It has been very encouraging to hear MTS people say the news and current affairs will not simply be a translation of mainstream news.

"I congratulate everyone involved in bringing matters to where we are today – to the early battlers for the cause, to the negotiators and lobbyists, and the managers and professional staff who are now putting the dream into practice. And we must not forget our friends and supporters who helped all along the way, raising funds, advising and assisting and encouraging us.

"A Maori television channel is a very big undertaking. Many people have made a huge investment in this enterprise. The collective effort has built up a critical mass of expertise, resources and commitment, that can anchor and shelter other aspects of our people's development.

"The launch of the service is a milestone in our people's ongoing assertion of our identity and presence in public life, and our determination to control our destiny," said Mrs Turia.


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