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Te Ataraiti Waretini To Take Over Ownership Of Kura Productions

Current General Manager of Kura Productions, Te Ataraiti Waretini, will take over the ownership of the company from Quinton Hita in 2022.

Quinton formed Kura Productions, a joint venture with South Pacific Pictures, almost 20 years ago. During this time he has been instrumental in the growth and evolution of Māori content across a broad range of genres, from game shows such as Kupu Huna, all the way to Aotearoa’s first bilingual serial drama, Ahikāroa.

Te Ataraiti Waretini, who came on board at Kura as General Manager in 2020, has an extensive background in the television industry, having worked both in New Zealand and abroad well over a decade. Through her experience of working on a range of different shows for kaupapa Māori she has learnt the importance of te reo Māori and tikanga Māori being applied behind and in front of the camera to deliver genuine and evocative Māori content.

Quinton will remain as a consultant and te reo Māori adviser for Kura Productions.

“It’s been my experience across the spectrum of te ao Māori, including broadcasting, that succession is key to a thriving future for Māori,” he says. “After many years of looking for somebody who could carry on the valuable work Kura Productions has done in film and television, I’m thrilled that Ataraiti has taken up the challenge. She’s passionate about te ao Māori and te reo Māori, the cornerstones that Kura Productions was built upon. I first worked with Ataraiti almost 20 years ago, and have admired her tenacity, integrity, and skill, and can’t wait to see what she brings to Māori broadcasting as the new owner and manager of Kura Productions."

As the Managing Director for Kura Productions, Te Ataraiti will continue to produce the company’s successful bilingual drama series, Ahikāroa, which has recently been commissioned for a fifth series, and is currently producing Te Pāmu Kūmara, a 100% te reo Māori live action children’s drama for Whakaata Māori, funded by Te Māngai Pāho. She has more plans to diversify the company’s slate, aiming to create more meaningful Māori content for Aotearoa and the world.

Te Ataraiti is looking forward to taking on the challenge of managing and owning Kura Productions.

“Kura Productions has been my TV home for many years, and I never dreamed that I would get this opportunity,” she says. It’s daunting trying to fill the shoes of someone who has done so much for te reo Māori but I’m excited to be in a position where I can help to normalise and revitalise te reo Māori and te ao Māori. I also intend to continue to build capacity of our people in the industry and affect change by making meaningful Māori content. I am grateful to Q in his leadership of Kura and the incredible content he has contributed over the past 20 years. He māngai kua whakapau kaha ki te whakapuawai i tō tātou reo Māori, e kore ngā mihi e mimiti haere.”

Kura will remain a joint venture with South Pacific Pictures.

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