Topic: Entertainment

Messages flow in support of Tautoko FM

By Heeni Brown
  • Northland

Messages are flowing from the Mangamuka community, iwi and iwi radio in support of Te Reo Irirangi Māori o Tautoko.

The iconic Far North radio station was engulfed by a horrific fire last night.  Dark smoke continues to smoulder from a building locals describe as the "heart of the community".

Chairman of Tautoko FM, Hori Chapman says, “I was telling myself, please don't be true, don't let the entire building be destroyed.”

Following last night's huge blaze that engulfed this iwi radio station.  Archives including kaumātua interviews were destroyed in the fire.

Maki Herbert says, "Everything, ngā mea katoa, putting out pānui to the whānau, whānau coming in expressing their issues their take or just putting it out there whatever they need and employment skills."

Matekino Pihema says, "It's been our baby since it started and it was started us an employment people and as our whānau we decided to put all the money and employment into a kitty."

Tautoko FM first went to air in 1988 and became the first Māori broadcaster in Northland.  The station is now hopeful, describing the incident as a phoenix that will rise from the ashes.

Chapman says, “Although our building was destroyed, it's not the end, we will carry on.”

Local authorities have yet to release their report on the incident and are still investigating the cause of the blaze.