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Waatea to Provide Maori News on National Radio

14 September 2005

Radio Waatea to Provide Maori News on National Radio

Radio New Zealand has contracted Radio Waatea, the largest Maori national radio broadcaster in the country, to provide its Maori news service from late January 2006. The move will see a change to the format and presentation of Maori news for the public service broadcaster.

The Auckland-based Urban Maori Authorities Broadcasting Company which operates Radio Waatea has been successful in a competitive tendering process, securing a 12-month contract with the right of renewal for a further 12 months. The contract is for the provision of four Maori news bulletins each weekday on National Radio.

Waatea News will be in bulletin form rather than the longer-form interviews which have previously featured in Maori news on National Radio. The bulletins will be broadcast in the network’s flagship news and current affairs programmes, Morning Report and Checkpoint.

Commenting on the announcement Radio New Zealand Chief Executive, Peter Cavanagh, said the appointment will add a significant new element to weekday news programming.

“ This is a n encouraging new relationship for Radio New Zealand. Radio Waatea is a respected broadcaster which currently holds the Te Mangai Paho contract for radio news in Maori language relayed by iwi radio stations around the country. We are looking forward to scheduling the bulletins which it will be providing and to extending their news coverage in English to our large and widespread National Radio audience. ”

UMA Broadcasting CEO Willie Jackson, said his organisation is excited that Waatea News will now be available to National Radio listeners:

“Producing Maori News in English will complement what we are already doing in Te Reo Maori, and it is also important that non-Maori New Zealanders gain an insight into Te Ao Maori.”

In making the announcement Peter Cavanagh paid tribute to the work of Radio New Zealand’s previous Maori news provider, Mana Maori Media, acknowledging the significant contribution of the organisation to the development of Maori broadcasting in New Zealand.

The first Waatea News bulletins will be broadcast in the week commencing 23rd January 2006.

ENDS

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