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Language Broadcasting Developments

Chronology of Key Events


1960 -1970 Emergence of Maori language advocacy groups – Te Reo Maori Society and Nga Tamatoa.

1973 Presentation of Maori language petition to Parliament by Nga Tamatoa.

1980 Television New Zealand screen ‘Koha’ - a 30 minute Maori magazine programme.

1986 Report of the Waitangi Tribunal on the Te Reo Maori Claim (WAI 11). The Tribunal finds that te reo Maori is a taonga guaranteed protection under Article II of the Treaty of Waitangi.

1987 Maori Language Act and establishment of the Maori Language Commission.

1988 Crown amends Broadcasting Act 1976 to restructure New
Zealand broadcasting and creates State Owned Enterprises.

1989 Broadcasting Act

1991 May: High Court decision declines to grant relief in respect of radio assets but adjourns claim in respect of television assets to give the Crown the opportunity to submit a scheme designed to protect te reo Maori if the assets were transferred.

July: Cabinet takes decision on Maori broadcasting and undertakings given to the High Court to, amongst a number of things, the development of special purpose Maori television.

Crown accepts that “the principles of the Treaty impose a continuing obligation on the Crown to take such active steps as are reasonable to assist in the preservation of the Maori language by the use of both radio and television broadcasting”.

The High Court accepts the Crown’s undertakings and allows the transfer of television assets.

1992 Application to the Court of Appeal by New Zealand Maori Council and Nga Kaiwhakapumau i te reo Maori appealing the transfer of television assets.

1993 Appeal to the Privy Council dismissed but the Privy Council judgement stresses the previous undertakings given by the Crown to the Courts.

Broadcasting Amendment Act establishes Te Reo Whakapuaki Irirangi/Te Mangai Paho.

1994 Te Mangai Paho established.

1996 A joint Maori/Crown working party on Maori television is established. Report prepared recommending substantive developments in Maori broadcasting policy (report one).

Second report of the Maori/Crown working party on Maori broadcasting.

Implementation of Maori television pilot in Auckland region – Aotearoa Maori Television Network.

1997 Aotearoa Maori Television Network ceases to operate.

National Maori Organisations report on Maori broadcasting.

Ministry of Commerce discussion document on Maori television policy released.

Government reviews Te Mangai Paho and Maori radio.

1998 Government agrees to the establishment of a Maori Television Trust. An establishment working group is set up to develop a trust deed, advise on appointments procedures including appointment of initial trustees and advise on how the operation of the trust should be funded.

Te Reo Maori Television Trust [Te Awhiorangi] established.

1999 Te Reo Maori Television Trust [Te Awhiorangi] presents business case to Ministers. Purchase agreement signed by the (then) Minister of Communications in December.

New government puts transfer of assets transfer of funds and assets for new channel on hold in order to further consider options for Maori television.

2000 Cabinet agrees that the establishment of a Maori television channel is a government priority within the Maori broadcasting policy area.

Responsibility for Maori broadcasting policy advice is transferred from the Ministry of Commerce to Te Puni Kokiri.

Minister of Maori Affairs invites a group of Maori broadcasting experts to make recommendations on Maori broadcasting. The Maori Broadcasting Advisory committee (MBAC) presents its report to the Minister of Maori Affairs in October 2000.

2001 Prime Minister and the Minister of Maori Affairs direct officials to consider MBAC report and provide further advice on options for establishing a viable Maori television service.

Discussions begin with key Maori stakeholders.

Cabinet takes decision to establish a Maori television service, which will be provided for in legislation.

2002 Maori television service to ‘go to air’ in June 2002.

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