Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision has launched Te Reo Pāpāho, a new exhibition that profiles the broadcasters who have championed te reo Māori on radio. Senior Māori Curator Lawrence Wharerau told Te Kāea about the historical recordings and their value today.
Recordings from Māori language broadcasters in the 1900s are now available online.
“If you want to hear the excellence and dialect of these broadcasters then this is a great resource,” says Wharerau.
The online exhibition illuminates barriers and provides insight into the challenges that these broadcasters faced as they fought to increase the use of Māori language on radio.
They are “Those who fought for our language in broadcasting, those who petitioned the government to provide a place for Māori language speakers on the airwaves,” according to Wharerau.
Te Reo Pāpāho covers the early days of radio through the 1940s when the first regular full Māori radio programmes began, on to the Māori cultural renaissance of the 1970s.
“My challenge to Māori stations is to broadcast fully in Te Reo, and for those who don't know how to speak I challenge them to embrace our language”.
Wharerau says there's a long way to go to realise the aspirations of those who paved the way in Māori broadcasting.
The exhibition is available online at Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision - Te Reo Pāpāho.