What's the future of Māori Broadcasting?

By Te Kuru o te Marama Dewes

Minister for Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta says that Māori condemn the idea that Māori Television news media and Māori news within the mainstream television media sector be amalgamated.

Mahuta says concerns have been expressed in relation to the 'Maori Media Sector Shift' review by the Ministry for Māori Development.

“In my view, working together is fine, but combining together as one, that needs to carefully considered.”

Mahuta says Māori are expressing the view that indigenous TV news services such as Te Karere and Te Kāea should not be amalgamated.

“The Te Māngai Pāho board think that the changes in broadcasting should be carefully considered. Combining the news services, for example, that's for Te Māngai Pāho to deliberate,” says Mahuta.

It begs the question, who has the right to instruct Māori media on how do their job?

“We, the Government, the Māori members, we want Māori news reports to be independent and to be different to those of other stations,” says Mahuta.

The Ministry for Māori Development is reviewing Māori Television, Te Māngai Pāho and The Iwi Radio Network. This includes funding, delivery and access to te reo and tikanga Māori programming content, and alignment to Public Broadcasting.

Matai Smith says, “For 26 years this radio station has been delivering the grassroots indigenous news of this area, broadcasting to the entire country and now internationally."

Station manager at Tūranga FM, Matai Smith says whatever the outcome, Tūranga FM needs its own space within the new structure.

“No matter what the new model looks like, the intention is that this radio station will have a place in that model. If not, there will be war,” says Smith.

The review is due to be released in March 2019.