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Ministers need to stand up for iwi radio

Iwi radio has a proud history in Aotearoa and it is unacceptable that the pioneer Māori radio station, Te Ūpoko o Te Ika, could face closure.

Julian Wilcox, Chief Operating Officer at Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, says if the Māori Ministers won’t stand up for Te Ūpoko, then how can we be assured they will stand up for any iwi radio station.

“At Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu we put significant investment into our radio station Tahu FM, as we understand the importance of iwi radio. Surely we can expect the same from our Ministers,” says Julian.

“Te Ūpoko led the way for iwi radio in Aotearoa and it seems unimaginable that we could lose the station,” says Julian.

As the Minister responsible for Te Reo Whakapuaki Irirangi (Maori Broadcasting Funding Agency), and as a former Chair of Te Whakaruruhau o Ngā Reo Irirangi Māori (National Māori Radio Network), Minister Willie Jackson has a responsibility to protect iwi radio. However, all Māori Ministers should recognise the importance of this kaupapa.

“Tahu FM is the only Māori radio station in Te Waipounamu, broadcasting to over 80% of the South Island population. We want Ministers, particularly Minister Jackson, to publically state his support for Te Ūpoko, and for iwi radio in general, to ensure iwi radio is appropriately protected, supported, and funded,” says Julian.

ends

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