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More Muscle For Maori Television

Mediacom-Release-Nz-On-Air More Muscle For Maori Television

A welcome new face at NZ On Air looks set to bring fresh vision to mainstream Maori Television.

The appointment of Tainui Stephens as Maori Consultant Executive Producer, He Turanga Matanga, has been announced by NZ On Air Chief Executive, Jo Tyndall.

"Mr Stephens is a widely respected and experienced Maori programmer and we are excited at the prospect of working with him. This is an important appointment and one that is integral to our future direction," Ms Tyndall said.

Ms Tyndall said NZ On Air was committed to delivering programmes by and about Maori to mainstream New Zealand television audiences. NZ On Air has already funded a number of very strong Maori projects in English for the 1999 - 2000 financial year. "Our next move is to build on this record and improve NZ On Air's understanding of relevant Maori issues and relationships with Maori."

"We support the Government's recent high level objectives on Broadcasting policy. It is clear that whatever broadcasting system is in place, we must ensure Maori stories are an integral part of the broadcasting environment."

"Mr Stephens has the necessary skills, the commitment and the passion to assist us with this strategy," said Ms. Tyndall.

Tainui Stephens brings with him an exhaustive list of television credits. In his last role as Executive Producer of Maori Programmes Department, TVNZ, he produced such projects as the acclaimed Waka Huia; a bi-lingual youth entertainment series, Mai Time. He also directed The New Zealand Wars, a documentary series on New Zealand's civil wars of the 19th Century.

Mr Stephens' role with NZ On Air will include assisting with the selection and development of Maori projects, advising Maori creative teams and mentoring those teams with less experience. He will also contribute to the development of NZ On Air guidelines for the selection and production of Maori projects. He will take up the position in October.

ENDS



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