Historic milestone for Maori TV as sun rises on new name
Public interest journalism funded by NZ On Air
It’s the dawn of a new era for Maori television this morning as the native broadcaster officially changed its name to Whakaata Maori during an early morning service today at its premises in East Tamaki.
According to Shane Taurima, Tāhuhu rangapū (CEO), with the rating of digital platforms, it was only natural that the name of the television would change to accommodate multiple platforms.
“We’re taking a name that better reflects our television services and the mahi we do.”
He says that if the name is Maori, so is the vision, strategy and way forward.
The service opened with a karakia led by Rahui Papa – Kīngi Tūheitia spokesperson and Ngāti Whātua representative, Renata Blair. The neon sign was unveiled by Te Puhi Ariki Ngawaihonoitepo Paki who came on behalf of Te Kīngitanga.
The ceremony included a fine performance by Ngā Puna o Waiorea (Western Springs College).
The ceremony did not go without a little disruption. Through the melodious voice of the kapa, the sound of the fire alarms mingled with the sound of the group.
Wena Harawira, kāhuhu kawe kūrongo (head of news and current affairs) said, “I thought it was the sound effects of the kapa haka group. It was oddly harmonious.
Since Whakaata Māori was founded 18 years ago, the channel has been dedicated to promoting te reo Māori and indigenous cultures around the world. It aired acclaimed international films, local te reo Māori television content and current affairs, including the award-winning news program Te Ao with Moana.
Oriwa Atkins, who started this year in Whakaata Māori as a junior journalist, says the day made her excited to start a career at the Indigenous Channel.
“It’s a great day to be Maori,” she says. “I am proud to be part of this kaupapa and excited for the future of Whakaata Māori.”
‘Nō tātou tēnei ingoa’ says Taurima.
– Torerenui-a-Rua Wilson, Te Rito Journalism Cadet