A dawn service for all staff kicked off celebrations of a decade of Māori Television this morning.
Also in attendance were the newly appointed CEO, Paora Maxwell, politicians, dignitaries and stalwarts of te reo Māori who fought long and hard to bring the dream that was Māori Television to fruition.
The karakia was opened by respected and esteemed member of the Kaunihera Kuia, Kaumatua of Māori Television, Huirangi Waikerepuru. Mr Waikerepuru was one of the many who fought long and hard to establish the Indigenous broadcaster.
Other speakers at celebrations this morning included Shane Jones, Te Ururoa Flavell, Claudette Hauiti, Hone Harawira, Willie Jackson, former CEO Jim Mather and members of the Māori Womens Welfare League, Areta Kōpu and Georgina Kirby. All of whom congratulated the channel on how far it’s come since its inception and the integral role it has played in the promotion and advancement of te reo me ōna tikanga.
A long-time employee of Māori Television, Pirihira Hollings stood before the crowd this morning and spoke of her pride to work at Māori Television. She says “what I am most proud of is normalising Māori, our mere presence as a station has forced other channels to show Māori and tell Māori stories in a different light.”
Since the launch of the Indigenous channel in 2004 the station has come a long way and established itself as a reputable broadcaster.
It has built a strong reputation on special broadcasts focusing particularly around events of national significance such as Waitangi Day, ANZAC day, Te Matatini and the Māori Seats in General Elections.
Strong relationships with other Indigenous broadcasters on an international level have also been forged which was strengthened under the establishment of WITBN.
The channel also has popular entertainment shows under its belt like Homai Te Pakipaki, Hunting Aotearoa, CODE and more recently kapa haka themed shows like 50 Haka Moments to name a few.
Māori Television also prides itself with its own indigenous news and current affairs shows like the evening news bulletin Te Kāea which broadcasts seven nights a week, Mataora and award winning current affairs show, Native Affairs.
More recently Māori Television has started utilising the huge opportunities going big online can offer with a brand new website providing people around the world the opportunity to view the unique content it has to offer.
Celebrations will continue throughout the day and staff and management look forward to another ten years of broadcasting excellence.