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Nga Aho Whakaari response to Maori Media Review report

Media Release May 17, 2019

Māori screen organisation Ngā Aho Whakaari says Māori screen practitioners are having to wait until the end of the year for decisions to be made about the promised overhaul of the Māori Media sector in the review being conducted by Te Puni Kōkiri.

Minister for Māori Development, Hon. Nanaia Mahuta has said the Māori Sector Review report published this week is a backgrounder to the existing state of the Māori Media industry.

Ngā Aho Whakaari chair, Hineani Melbourne says, “Māori media were hoping for more concrete indication of change.

“While the report acknowledges the disparity in budgets between Māori productions - often 40 - 60 percent less than mainstream - there are no solutions offered.

“The report talks of the need for collaboration between sectors such as with Radio NZ and NZ On Air, yet these organisations don’t have a strong track record of supporting Māori content or aspirations.”

The report states that there is a need to identify the most effective and efficient way of funding and producing te reo Māori and tikanga content, which require structuring the sector.

Ngā Aho Whakaari executive director Erina Tamepo says, “This is the crux of what the Māori screen industry has been grappling with and we hope that much-needed resources will be made available.

“Equitable funding is the starting point”, she says, “Māori content producers are passionate about te reo Māori and tikanga Māori content, usually working for less money and accepting financial insecurity in order to produce the best content possible.”

Ngā Aho Whakaari (NAW) believes positives in the Review include the need for on-the-job education and training and looks forward to seeing how that will be supported. NAW is also pleased that the report includes positive response to their campaigning on the importance of archiving Māori content with access for Māori media.

NAW is concerned that Te Māngai Pāho, the Māori production funding agency, is looking at alternative broadcasters to Māori Television in order to boost the numbers of viewers. Melbourne says she believes Te Māngai Pāho’s first priority should be the sustainability of the Māori Television channel, and the creation of well-resourced productions, which will attract viewers.

Ngā Aho Whakaari looks forward to the next report which it hopes will provide surety, direction and aspirations for the Māori media sector.


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