1 May 2014

Maori TV content beyond some viewers

8:23 pm on 1 May 2014

A Maori Television chief concedes some of its older viewers don't understand words being used in its news coverage.

The acknowledgement comes after a Te Reo expert told Te Manu Korihi the language should be kept simple.

An executive at the Maori Language Commission, Te Haumihiata Mason, said some fluent native speakers could not follow what was being said - and that was a problem.

The commission is planning to run a four-day workshop for people working in the media, who translate or use the Maori language.

Maori Television general manager for news and current affairs, Julian Wilcox, acknowledged Ms Mason's point, and said news in Te Reo must be understood by a wide audience.

Mr Wilcox said some of its older viewers had said they did not understand what they described as new words used in news reports.

He believed those words were not new, but rather classical terms it was trying to reinvigorate and use today.

He said neither Maori Television nor its daily news programme Te Kāea are alone, and said it was a convention that existed in Maori language revitalisation efforts.

Mr Wilcox said an independent linguist monitored the different aspects of the language used in its programmes, and the latest review showed it had successfully met a high standard.

But the news manager said the station would be sending staff along to the Maori Language Commission wananga later in the year, saying the workshops were beneficial.

He saidTe Kāea strove to continue developing language skills within its programme and amongst its staff.