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On ANZAC day, Maori Television defines public broadcasting

11 April, 2013

Maori Television’s 8th year of dedicated ANZAC Day programming
Focus on 70th anniversary of North African campaign

As New Zealand prepares to withdraw from Afghanistan, Maori Television dedicates its eighth consecutive ANZAC Day broadcast on April 25 to remembering the wartime sacrifices of Kiwi soldiers.

This year marks the 70th anniversary of World War II’s North Africa campaign, and a documentary following 22 Kiwi veterans as they return to El Alamein has been commissioned in remembrance of those remarkable events.

“Maori Television was the only New Zealand broadcaster to commit to ANZAC coverage of this scale,” says director and presenter Cameron Bennett. “It shows the respect the channel has for giving our heritage a voice and commemorating our involvement in the war.”

Bennett’s moving documentary, El Alamein: Line in the Sand, follows his journey with the veterans, as well as with a Maori woman whose father died in the campaign. She never met him and his letters home were intercepted by an aunt and only discovered after the relative’s death. She makes the emotional journey with her granddaughter to visit her dad’s grave.

Presenters for the day’s coverage are Julian Wilcox, Judy Bailey and Wena Harawira. Other highlights include:

Hitler and the Gum Diggers – The Story of ‘A’ Company. Tainui Stephens directs and presents an intimate documentary looking at the men of A Company or the ‘Gum Diggers’ of the North as they were affectionately known.

ANZAC Concert 2013, featuring songs sung in Maori and English by Anika Moa, Ria Hall and the 30-strong NZ Army Band. Highlights include E Pari Ra, the classic WWII song, Vietnam Medley, the NZ Army dance band medley of rock songs and Requiem of a Soldier, the powerful theme song from television series Band of Brothers.

Victoria Cross recipients Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa Ngarimu (from Whareponga on the East Cape, with schooling in Hawkes Bay at Te Aute College at Poukawa), Charles Upham – the most highly-decorated Commonwealth soldier of World War II (born in Christchurch) and Keith Elliott (born in Wellington).

Maori Television is also urging New Zealanders to take the opportunity to remind themselves of the ANZAC traditions that define our nation.

“Getting up early to watch the ANZAC Day broadcast or go to a Dawn Service is a respectful way to honour an occasion that connects all New Zealanders,” says Maori Television chief executive Jim Mather.

“We believe the line-up for the day gives Kiwis many reasons to tune in to Maori Television. It represents a simple gesture to remind us of the hardships and sacrifices endured by those who have served us in the great conflicts of the 20th century.”

Throughout the day’s coverage, vignettes of veterans’ stories will also be shown and full programme information is listed below.

Maori Television will be live streaming the following coverage:

1. Dawn Service: 5.50am to 6.40am
2. Gallipoli LIVE, ANZAC Cove: 2.30pm – 3.30pm
3. ANZAC Highlights: 7.30pm – 8.00pm
4. ANZAC Concert: 8.00pm – 9.00pm

Most content will be available for catch up at www.maoritelevision.com

Maori Television is available on Freeview channel 5 and Sky TV channel 19. It’s also available through the old analogue network with a UHF aerial. Viewers who receive Prime TV by aerial should be able to tune in to Maori Television.

ENDS

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