Māori Television is set to host the World Indigenous Television Broadcasters Conference (WITBC) in 2018, marking the networks 10th year anniversary.
The announcement was made today at the opening of the WITBC, hosted by National Indigenous Television (NITV) in Sydney, Australia.
The World Indigenous Television Broadcasters Network (WITBN) is an alliance of Indigenous Broadcasters from eight different countries around the world which includes Māori Television in New Zealand, National Indigenous Television (NITV) in Australia, Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN) in Canada, BBC ALBA in Scotland, NRK Sápmi in Norway, Taiwan Indigenous Television, TG4 in Ireland and ‘Ōiwi TV in Hawai’i.
The one common thread that links the WITBN members together is the vision: To preserve and promote Indigenous languages and cultures world-wide.
At the heart of WITBN is its content sharing programs between the networks which shine a light on Indigenous stories at an international level.
The current WITBN Chair and Channel Manager of NITV, Tanya Denning-Orman says, “Being the Chair of WITBN has been a great honour, and an incredible experience.
I am delighted that Paora Maxwell, CEO of Māori Television, will be our organisation’s next chair. Māori TV is seen as the leader in the revitalisation of language amongst WITBN members. It is timely that Māori Television once again hosts in two years.”
Māori Television hosted the inaugural conference eight years ago.
Maxwell says, “2018 will mark the 10th year anniversary of WITBN, so it’s almost like a homecoming in a sense.
The Board will work hard to redefine strategy over the next few days in Australia, but Māori Television will play a key role in driving the strategic direction of the network, which is likely to include a rebrand.”
Both the conference and the WITBN office are hosted by a different country every two years. In addition to launching in New Zealand, it’s also been hosted by TITV in Taiwan, NRK Sápmi in Norway and more recently by Aboriginal People’s Network in Canada, before moving to Australia.
Ms. Denning-Orman will hand over the original Wakahuia - a symbol which represents the importance and great responsibility of hosting WITBN, to Mr. Maxwell at the Closing Ceremony.