17 Aug 2012

Renewed hope for te reo Maori on mainstream TV

6:33 am on 17 August 2012

The Maori Broadcasting Funding Agency has registered what it calls a huge shift in New Zealanders' attitudes to support Maori language initiatives.

Te Mangai Paho believes that mindset will generate a greater interest from mainstream broadcasters to eventually air prime-time television programmes in te reo Maori.

Chief executive John Bishara is not critical of channels who don't yet carry Maori language shows, but hopes it will happen over time.

He says getting Maori themed programmes in English into people's living rooms is a step in the right direction.

Mr Bishara noted that New Zealand On Air has helped get The GC onto TV3's peaktime schedule, a programme which showed tangata whenua living life the Maori way in Australia.

He says it was a brave decision to air the show and it was popular.

Mr Bishara says more of those sorts of programmes could be created, and te reo Maori could be added to the production.