Dr Haare Williams receives lifetime award in broadcasting

By Tema Hemi

Veteran journalist Hare Williams received the Lifetime Achievement Award at today's Ngā Kupu Ora Māori Journalism Awards, held at Massey University's Albany campus. 

Broadcaster, educator, poet and artist, Williams (Ngai Tuhoe and Te Aitanga-a-Mahaki) is thankful to those who paved the way for him. 

"Those who have turned to the night and have deceased-  I acknowledge Wiremu Parker, Wiremu Kerekere and Ted Nepia.  We must celebrate that generation, for it was them that paved the way for the likes of myself."

Williams first started in broadcasting in 1989 as station manager of Te Reo o Aotearoa at Radio New Zealand.  He says while times have changed, some attitudes haven't. 

"It was difficult then as it now but one thing is sure is that our language has grown immensely.  I worked with Muru Paenga, who was very direct and staunch when it came to the runnings of that sort of work.  At that time it was broadcasting our language but under a Caucasian influence which didn't sit right and wasn't genuine."

Williams also shared his thoughts on amalgamating all Māori news outlets into a single source.

"Since long ago when it was the Broadcasting Corporation back in the 80's, that was a major focus at a government level."

As an executive director of the New Zealand 1990 Commission, Williams was responsible for waka construction and assembly at Waitangi for the 1990 commemorations.

Last year Williams was given an honorary doctorate by Unitec.