Māori broadcasters unite for future of industry

By Talisa Kupenga

The Māori media sector is banding together to ensure Māori content and language keeps pace with changes in the industry.    

Set-up by Te Māngai Pāho, new industry group Te Pae Tawhiti aims to be in the same space as consumers given technology is at their fingertips.  

It's a collective approach and new direction for the survival of Māori media.  

"We know our youth consume and search everything on iPads, mobile devices and computers so this is the space being targeted," says Minister for Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta.

The collaboration brings together independent producers, funders and broadcasters including Māori Television, Iwi Radio, Radio New Zealand and TVNZ to compete among platforms like Netflix.

"Feedback I've received says they do want to work together, but some concerns have been raised around what that would look like within the strategy."

Māori Television has lost about $12mil in Te Māngai Pāho funding to non-māori broadcasters in the past two years.  But the networks have been told to work together.

Te Māngai Pāho Chairman Eruera Tarena says, "We can't tell them what to do.  We are asking they do this for the Māori language.  How will we do that?  We are only the funding providers but we're saying we want to support the path ahead."

Te Pāe Tawhiti's fourteen members will make recommendations to Te Māngai Pāho around language revitalisation and funding decisions.