(L-R) Renee Kahukura-Iosefa (Native Affairs), Maiki Sherman (Newshub), Kereama Wright (TVNZ), Iulia Leilua (Native Affairs)
The work of Māori Television’s Native Affairs has been recognised in New Zealand's first Māori Journalism Awards.
Iulia Leilua and Renee Kahukura-Iosefa from Native Affairs are two of four finalists in the Massey University Awards.
Maiki Sherman, Newshub, is also a finalist for her stories with Native Affairs and Māori Television’s Te Kāea news in 2015 as well as Kereama Wright from TVNZ.
Judges noted the impressive standard of entries across television, radio, online and print stories meant that the initial selection of three finalists needed to be extended to four.
“It was awesome to see Māori stories you wouldn’t have seen in mainstream media. Stories that really matter to Māori told in a very Māori way," said judge, Shane Taurima.
Fellow judge Erana Reedy said she was blown away by the quality of the content and the standard of journalism while third judge, Julian Wilcox, hoped to see the awards expand even further.
The strong presence of Native Affairs demonstrated the ongoing importance of rebuild and direction for Māori journalism said Māori Television’s head of news and current affairs, Maramena Roderick.
“We are working in a rapidly changing industry and last year we had to make brave decisions. We created a newsroom and supported the journalists who were willing to face those challenges head on,” she said.
It is the second award nomination for Iulia Leilua this year, who won Best Pacific Female Media Personality last month.
The Māori Journalism Awards are in conjunction with the 2016 Ngā Kupu Ora Awards: Celebrating Māori Books and Journalism.
This year's celebration will be held at – and in partnership with – Tāmaki Paenga Hira, the Auckland War Memorial Museum, on October 3.
Māori Television wishes all finalists, including colleagues at Newshub and TVNZ, the very best for the inaugural awards.