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Māori Television

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Māori Television
Māori Television Logo.png
CountryNew Zealand
HeadquartersAuckland, New Zealand
Picture format
Launched28 March 2004
Free-to-air HD
Free-to-air SD

Māori Television is a New Zealand television station that broadcasts programmes that make a significant contribution to the revitalisation of the Māori language and culture.[1] Funded by the New Zealand Government, it commenced broadcasting on 28 March 2004 from its studios in Newmarket, Auckland. It has since moved to East Tamaki, Auckland.


Māori Television was launched on 28 March 2004 and attracted 300,000 viewers that April.[citation needed] The main channel attracts 1.5 million viewers each month, including half of all Māori aged five or more, and one-third of all New Zealanders.[2] Te Reo, the station's second channel, was launched on 28 March 2008. In contrast with the main channel, it is ad-free and completely in the Māori language (without subtitles). Te Reo features special tribal programming with a particular focus on new programming for the fluent members of its audience.


The station operates under the stewardship of the New Zealand government, and the Māori Television Electoral College (Te Putahi Paoho). It has an annual budget of $45m, almost one-third of state spending on television in New Zealand.[citation needed]

In July 2015, Māori Television's seven-member board of directors decided that Hamilton or Rotorua could be a new home for the broadcaster.[3][4]


A survey by Business and Economic Research Limited found that 84% of the general New Zealand population think Māori Television should be a permanent part of New Zealand broadcasting.[2]

Māori Television continues to attract an increasingly broad audience across ages, genders and ethnicities. More than two-thirds of its audience are non-Māori. They are drawn by the station's local programming, such as Kai Time on the Road, Kete Aronui and Ask Your Auntie; New Zealand movies and documentaries; and the diverse range of international features not seen on other NZ networks.[citation needed]



The station aims to revitalise Māori language and culture through its programming. The relevant legislation says "The principal function of the Service is to promote te reo Māori me nga tikanga Māori (Māori language and culture) through the provision of a high quality, cost-effective Māori television service, in both Māori and English, that informs, educates, and entertains a broad viewing audience, and, in doing so, enriches New Zealand's society, culture, and heritage".


Canadian John Davy was appointed chief executive of Māori Television in 2002. However, it was found that his qualifications were false — he claimed to hold a degree from "Denver State University" which did not exist — and he was fired.[6] In 2005, newsreader Julian Wilcox was fired (and reinstated) after he contributed to information provided to other media that led to negative coverage of the station. That same year, Te Kāea presenter Ngarimu Daniels was banned from taking part in protests, and her partner was referred to as a "dyke" by a senior station manager. She was awarded $16,000 compensation,[7] and her partner, Leonie Pihama, a leading Māori academic and film-maker, resigned from the station's board citing a conflict of interest.

In 2015, the station's star broadcaster Mihingarangi Forbes resigned after complaints arose that senior management (including CEO Paora Maxwell) were attempting to shut down a story critical of the Kohanga Reo National Trust Board to be broadcast on her show Native Affairs.[8] An external consultant recommended to the station's board that reporting "not challenge and critique one another", leading some (including commentator Morgan Godfery) to question whether journalists at Māori Television had the necessary freedom to report on the failures of elders in Māoridom. Native Affairs and other current affairs programming was later cut back or cancelled altogether, a decision criticised by Green MP Marama Davidson.[9]

In 2019, the station offered candidates for the Auckland mayoralty the opportunity to pay $500 to be interviewed and to have that interview broadcast on its TV and digital platforms, an offer one candidate described as close to "extortion".[10]


  1. ^ Impact of Mäori Television on the Mäori Language (PDF) (Report). Te Puni Kōkiri. July 2011. Retrieved 17 October 2017. The Impact Survey results show a consistent relationship between greater viewing of Mäori Television and increasing language usage, greater language learning, and proficiency increases and maintenance. Collectively these outcomes point towards Mäori Television having a marked positive contributing impact on Mäori language revitalisation.
  2. ^ a b "Maori Television Marks Fifth On-Air Anniversary". Throng. 26 March 2009. Archived from the original on 15 February 2012. Retrieved 26 June 2009.
  3. ^ "Maori Television could move offices". 3 News. 24 November 2015. Archived from the original on 24 November 2015.
  4. ^ "Board & Executive". Māori Television. Retrieved 20 November 2016.
  5. ^ Five prominent Maori leaders share lifetime award for commitment to te reo and tikanga
  6. ^ Louisa Cleave (29 May 2002). "John Davy sent to prison for eight months". The New Zealand Herald.
  7. ^ Beston, Anne (31 August 2005). "Māori TV presenter wins $16,000, right to protest". The New Zealand Herald. ISSN 1170-0777. Retrieved 17 October 2017.
  8. ^ Fisher, David. "Why Maori TV broadcaster Mihingarangi Forbes quit". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 15 October 2021.
  9. ^ Davidson, Marama (7 May 2016). "I'm a huge fan of Māori TV. Which is why I'm hugely worried about what's going on there". The Spinoff. Retrieved 15 October 2021.
  10. ^ Braae, Alex (23 September 2019). "Pay-for-play accusation as Māori TV offers mayoral candidates $500 interview". The Spinoff. Retrieved 15 October 2021.

External links

This page was last edited on 28 October 2021, at 16:28
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