New funding package in the pipeline for Māori media sector

By Jessica Tyson

Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta has signalled a new funding package in the pipeline for the Māori media sector.

It comes after the government budget in May announced $3.3 million for the Māori media sector to support news and current affairs but details on how that would be spent were not made public.

Mahuta says ideas and proposals from a media advisory group have been brought together as a package to engage audiences more thoroughly across the sector.

“If the sector is to keep delivering on its unique purpose of providing unique, relevant and accessible content that revitalises te reo Māori and shares Māori stories, it needs to stay ahead of the game and anticipate audience trends that hunger for greater diversity and authenticity."

The Māori and iwi media sector agencies and organisations include Te Māngai Pāho, Māori Television and 21 Crown-funded iwi radio stations. Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori and Te Mātāwai are part of the wider Māori language sector. Meanwhile, New Zealand On Air, Radio New Zealand and Television New Zealand also have mandates to promote te reo Māori and Māori culture.

Mahuta says for the past year she has worked with key sector players who recognise the need for change given the fast-changing digital landscape and changing audience demands.

“This has informed the options we will be discussing this week. No decisions have been made and I hope that rather than draw battle lines, we start to carve out the way forward.”

The public is invited to engage in a series of hui about the sector shift in a discussion document.  Submissions can also be made from today until June 26.