Te Mangai Pāho want iwi radio to increase listenership

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Iwi radio stations have been told by Te Māngai Pāho (TMP) to increase their radio audience by 2% over the next year. The directive was made at a National Maori Radio Network meeting in Auckland today.

Te Māngai Pāho says around 300,000 people listen to 21 iwi radio stations around the country. But the agency told this meeting of iwi radio station managers today, they want more people listening.

“I'm asking the iwi radio stations over the next 12 months to increase that figure by 2 percent,” says Te Mangai Pāho CEO John Bishara.

Bishara says while he's confident with the number of listeners, Te Māngai Pāho needs to be transparent.

“And very accountable and all we're doing is saying stick to your business, stick to your knitting and keep improving," says Bishara.

Radio stations have also been told by Te Māngai Pāho to get digital. Funding for each radio station has increased from $384,000 to $500,000 a year.

Te Whakaruruhau o Ngā Reo Irirangi Māori spokesperson Erana Reedy says the increase will assist radio stations with the move to digital.

“The National Māori Radio Network will assist those radio stations who haven't yet got a firm grasp on the move to digital. So we're looking at how best we can help them reach an audience outside of their region,” says Reedy.

John Bishara says there's no financial penalty for stations who don't increase their audience. But he says iwi radio and television should produce innovative and exciting programmes in the Māori language to stay in the game.