8 May 2014

Off-peak TV placement challenged

2:05 pm on 8 May 2014

The Maori broadcasting funding agency has been challenged over why it continues to pay commercial television channels to make Maori programmes that are kept out of prime-time schedules.

Maori Affairs Select Committee chair Tau Henare asked at a hearing on Wednesday if Te Mangai Paho thought it was getting value for money.

The media funder's chief executive, John Bishara, said its dollar was well spent on mainstream channels, which also played peak-time shows about Maori.

He joked he had just about got through Wednesday's committee hearing without mentioning The GC, the Crown-backed programme about Maori living on Queensland's Gold Coast.

Mr Bishara says a quarter of a million young Maori watched every episode of the first series of The GC, and they enjoyed it.

Although he personally did not like the show, he said the format hooked Maori viewers into other programmes.