Maori Radio Going Well

  • Tau Henare
Maori Affairs

The Minister of Maori Affairs, the Hon Tau Henare and the Minister of Communications, the Hon Maurice Williamson, today announced that Maori will be asked to consider at a hui planned for July 1998 how arrangements for promoting the Maori language through radio broadcasting might be improved.

The Crown's primary interest in Maori radio is to promote the Maori language for which it has an obligation under the Treaty of Waitangi. The Government's Maori radio policy has developed over a number of years and there are now over twenty iwi-based organisations and other Maori radio services providing coverage throughout the country. The bulk of these receive financial support from Te Mangai Paho ($9.3 million in 1997/98). All Maori radio stations broadcast on frequencies reserved by the Crown for the promotion of Maori language and culture.

"The Government has considered an initial report from officials on the suitability of present arrangements. The preliminary view is that arrangements are basically sound, with Te Mangai Paho reporting that the majority of Maori radio stations are now broadcasting significant levels of Maori language. A number of improvements can be made, however, for example in relation to coordination among iwi radio stations and "national service" providers, the provision of training of Maori broadcasters, broadcast coverage and the administration of radio licences.

Before making final decisions, the Government wants to hear the views of Maori. To this end, a discussion document will be released for public comment and consideration at a national hui of Maori radio broadcasters and other interested parties, to be held in Hamilton in July 1998," the Ministers concluded.

Further work is being undertaken on what steps can be taken to ensure that iwi-based organisations are adequately supported in their role as kaitiaki or guardians of the quality of Maori language broadcasts.