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New TV service brings Te Ao Maori to the nation

26 March, 2004

New TV service brings Te Ao Maori to the nation

The Green Party says the launch of the new Maori TV service on Sunday will provide a much-needed boost for multi-cultural understanding in New Zealand.

"There's a huge appetite in this country to know more about Maori history, culture and language," said Metiria Turei, the Green Maori Affairs spokesperson. "The much-anticipated advent of a channel on which Maori get to tell their own stories will have mass appeal.

"In the past, Maori have been associated with some great programmes that the established TV networks just haven't had the courage to play for a mainstream audience in prime-time. Programmes like last year's Mataku, that was hailed by critics and viewers alike as quality television, but which most people would never have seen because it was played late in the evening.

"The Privy Council ruled that the Crown had a duty to promote the Maori language through television, and there is no doubt that this initiative will help the continued revival of Te Reo.

"The Greens are really proud to have played a pivotal role in passing the legislation to establish the Maori TV service. The ill-informed 'debate' that's been foisted on the country over the past two months shows just how vital it is that New Zealanders have access to what is essentially a window on Te Ao Maori (the Maori world).

"I sincerely hope that all of us - Pakeha as well as Maori - take the opportunity to tune-in and enjoy a different view of the world from what we're fed on the established networks."

Metiria will be at the opening of the Maori Television Service in Auckland on Sunday. (6am Karakia; 9:30am Powhiri and official launch.)


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