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Up for tender: $3M for Māori programmes

Ngā Aho Whakaari, Auckland, 27 October 2014: NAW seeks a response from Te Māngai Pāho regarding proposed TVNZ plans to outsource Māori and Pacific programmes.

Ngā Aho Whakaari believes TVNZ’s announcement to outsource Marae Investigates and Waka Huia and the inevitable disbanding of the Māori and Pacific internal production unit, demonstrates a further lack of real commitment to Māori programming.

Ngā Aho Whakaari understands some shows have broadcast commitment through to mid-2016.

The Ngā Aho Whakaari board says now is the time for Te Māngai Pāho to reconsider the ring-fencing of nearly $3-million for TVNZ productions and if that allocation best achieves Māori language and Māori language audience needs.
TVNZ’s dealings with this matter have shown contempt for its viewers, its Māori Department staff and its funders Te Māngai Pāho and New Zealand On Air.

Whilst the existence of Māori Television means New Zealand has a broadcaster dedicated to a Māori voice and Te Reo Māori programming, Ngā Aho Whakaari believes TVNZ has a responsibility as a state entity to ensure a strong Māori voice and presence is prioritised on a mainstream programming platform now and in the future.”

Ngā Aho Whakaari, ‘The strands of many visions’
‘Ngā Aho Whakaari: Māori in screen production’ was set up by a group of Māori practitioners in 1996 to represent Māori working primarily in film and television production. This initiative grew out of the earlier work done by Te Manu Aute, a coalition of Māori who formed in the 1980s to advocate for a stronger Māori presence and voice in the telling of our stories through moving images.

At a Hui of Te Manu Aute in 1990, a call was made for a Māori television funding agency, a Māori television service and a Māori film commission. It is to the credit of all concerned over the last twenty-four years that those three aspirations have been realised.

The other ongoing dream of Māori in screen production has been for the enhancement and enrichment of an ‘authentic Māori voice’. As articulated by Barry Barclay, and through the vision of Te Manu Aute and Ngā Aho Whakaari, an ‘authentic Māori voice’ is the outcome of a moving image project in which they key ‘creatives’ (writer, producer and director) are Māori. It is because of this vision, passion and commitment from those who have gone before that such dreams are being realised.

We particularly wish to acknowledge the extraordinary contribution of our rangatira kua hinga: Merata Mita, Tama Poata, Tungia Baker, Wi Kuki Kaa, Don Selwyn, Barry Barclay, Robin Kora, and Ernie Leonard.

Furthermore, Ngā Aho Whakaari would not be the viable organisation it is today without the ongoing support of those who gave their manaakitanga from the outset, among them, Waiharoi Shortland, who gifted the whakatauki that defines Ngā Aho Whakaari:

“E kore te Tōtara e tū noa i te parae, engari me tū i te wāo.”
“The mighty Tōtara tree does not stand, alone, on the plain, it stands among the many in the forest.”

The following individuals were elected to the Ngā Aho Whakaari Executive in October 2013 to serve a two-year term:

  • Chair: Kim Muriwai, Independent production
  • Sandra Richmond
  • Mike Jonathon, Haka Boy Films
  • Christina Asher, CNA Casting
  • Lanita Ririnui-Ryan, independent production
  • Lilly Panapa, independent production

In mid-2014, two people resigned from the Executive and two others were seconded: Kara Paewai, independent production, and Tui Ruwhiu, Tauihu Media.

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