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Māori webseries get green light

NZ On Air, Wellington, 19 June 2014: NZ On Air and Te Māngai Pāho have selected five innovative Māori webseries to be supported from a new joint $500,000 fund. Three series are for younger audiences; two will be made in both Te Reo and English.

Webseries encourage new ideas and story-telling techniques outside the traditional broadcast environment.
Only In Aotearoa is a series of short comedy sketches aimed at a youthful audience.

For a younger audience is Kete Kōrero, which over 10 episodes will combine live action drama with animation to open the world of Māori mythology to a new audience. The series will be available in Te Reo and English.

A webseries previously supported by NZ On Air is back for a second series. Nia’s Extra Ordinary Life 2 advances the story of Nia, who will move on to intermediate school with new challenges. The series will also be available in both Te Reo and English.

Factual series Mahinga Kai will focus on food-related stories, exploring mahinga kai areas and species preservation.

Predicting the news of the future is the creative idea for Mai A Mua. This 10 part series will provide news-style stories about possible issues and events in Aotearoa over the next 1000 years.

Māori Television is supporting these webseries by providing a home on their On Demand website and publicity for the series so audiences know when they are released.

In total, NZ On Air and Te Māngai Pāho received 53 applications to the fund.

“The calibre of applications was very high and we are delighted by the final selection. Online stories by and about Māori are still rare. Our own research shows Māori are highly engaged online and we anticipate these series will be well received,” says Jane Wrightson Chief Executive of NZ On Air.

Te Māngai Pāho Chief Executive John Bishara added, “We are particularly pleased with the diversity both of the proposals submitted and those funded. As the convergence of technologies accelerates, it is increasingly important that we are able to fund the creation of Māori language content for online Māori audiences.”

Only In Aotearoa, Kura Productions, Producer – Quinton Hita: $100,000
Kete Kōrero, Tūmanako Productions, Producer – Kay Ellmers/ Director – Casey Kaa: $99,485
Nia’s Extra Ordinary Life 2, Kahi Creative with Brown Sugar Apple Grunt, Producer/Director – Jared Kahi: $100,000
Mahinga Kai, Te Rūnunga o Ngāi Tahu, Producer – Adrienne Anderson/ Director – Sampson Karst: $100,000
Mai A Mua, Screentime, Producer – Nix Jaques/Director – Kewana Duncan: $100,000