Future of Iwi Radio - Feature

By Mere McLean

Iwi radio has a defined history in NZ. From its inception, it has always been underfunded and undervalued, but Māori radio has remained steadfast in today's world. 

The establishment of iwi Māori radio was fought over with the core fundamental value of promoting the survival of the Māori language. Today, there are 23 iwi radio around NZ. The first radio station established was in Wellington.     

The future of iwi Māori radio hit a milestone last week with the announcement of $12 million in funding to be allocated to iwi radio.

This week, the association of Māori radio met in Auckland to discuss the future of Māori radio. The chairman of that association, Willie Jackson, acknowledges the Minister of Māori Affairs for these funds, but the future of Māori iwi radio is uncertain due to the new structure for the Māori language known as Te Mātāwai. 

Currently funding for Māori iwi radio is distributed by Te Māngai Pāho, but with Te Mātāwai, the future is very uncertain. Iwi radio is known as the poor relation to Māori Television, but maybe the tide has turned.