MORE ONLINE-FIRST EPISODES FOR AHIKĀROA FANS – ON MĀORI+!

Trail-blazing bilingual rangatahi drama AHIKĀROA will launch more online-first episodes from its sensational fourth season to mark the end of Mahuru Māori next month (October).

AHIKĀROA has grown a steady and passionate audience over the past four years with its hard-hitting uniquely Māori storylines that relate to all New Zealand youth - no matter their ethnic background.

The half-hour show screens on Māori Television every Thursday at 9.30 PM but the first 10 of the 20-episode series were rolled out on the website maoritelevision.com and the MĀORI+ app in early August. AHIKĀROA will notch up a total of 100 episodes by the end of season four.

Fans watch the show online, then comment on social media about the issues raised - from homelessness, domestic violence and suicide to sexuality, emotional abuse and addictions.

Executive producer Quinton Hita from Kura Productions says the thousands and thousands of comments to date demonstrate how AHIKĀROA is giving rangatahi a voice both on screen and online.

Hita says the show’s realistic characters and no holds-barred lives provide relevance and shock value desperately needed to cut through and engage the hard-to-reach younger generation.

“By fronting up to these issues, AHIKĀROA inherently incorporates Māori language and culture in a meaningful and entertaining way as well as employing more Māori faces to portray these characters.

“No other serial drama offers all New Zealand rangatahi the space to see themselves, to see their issues, to see their language and culture on screen and to connect emotionally and spiritually.

“This is a ground-breaking culture shift for television content in Aotearoa.”

Maramena Roderick – Tāhuhu Rangapū (Director of Content) at Māori Television – says the bilingual drama has clever techniques to weave reo Māori into real life issues using modern phrases well-known to young people.

Some 80 per cent of the AHIKĀROA crew are Māori; the majority of the cast are also Māori with almost 40 per cent being Māori language speakers.

“The native-speaking cast ensures correct pronunciation of te reo Māori and also provide a seamless transition between Māori and English languages so naturally that it’s unnoticeable,” Roderick says.

“These are both important factors in normalising the voices of rangatahi in our communities as well as ensuring that the normalisation of the Māori language and culture is of the highest quality.”

A joint venture between Quinton Hita and South Pacific Pictures, Kura Productions is one of the great success stories of the Māori television industry.

Kura is responsible for theatrical hit drama Mt Zion, feature film Māui‘s Hook and many notable Māori language programmes such as Tōku Reo, Kupuhuna, Pūkoro, Kōwhao Rau, Taniwha Rau, Huia Rau and Matangirau.

AHIKĀROA screens on Māori Television every Thursday at 9.00 PM and is available OnDemand on the website www.maoritelevision.com and the MĀORI+ app.