New rangatahi Youtube channel to take te reo Māori to the world

By Jessica Tyson

A new rangatahi Youtube channel WatchMojo Māori is set to take te reo Māori and culture to the world after being launched today by Te Māngai Pāho and Māori Television.

Te Māngai Pāho has partnered with a Canadian-based video content producer and publisher WatchMojo.com to create the channel. WatchMojo.com has more than 10 billion video views, 18 million subscribers and is the 27th largest YouTube channel.

WatchMojo Māori will join a raft of other WatchMojo Language channels on YouTube. It will focus on content to entertain rangatahi viewers from a Māori perspective while sharing stories, news, and humour.  

Te Māngai Pāho representative Sonny Ngatai, 23, says the channel is "a first of its kind".

"We've got all these great fluent shows but none of these yet cater to our young adult rangatahi audience, he says.

"So this is an ordinary show about young current trends that resonate with our young fluent audience, that they've been screaming out for."  

The new channel will play reversioned te reo Māori content to highlight Māori people, events and trends. Te Māngai Pāho has partnered with Māori Television and five iwi radio stations to reversion the first 100 episodes.  

"We've got The Top 10 Haka Moments, The Top 10 All Black Tries. We've got The Top 10 Game of Thrones Characters, The Top 10 End Game Plot Twists, says Ngatai.

"Let's say something huge has happened in the world, and then WatchMojo Māori will hopefully infotain that event."

Tāhuhu Rangapū of Māori Television, Shane Taurima, says the mission of this channel is "Kia whakacool’ngia te reo - sharing te reo Māori in a modern way."

“We see this as a powerful way to deliver engaging and humorous language that young and learning reo speakers crave.”

Kaihautū of Te Māngai Pāho Larry Parr says the organisation has repeatedly called for innovative content offerings to encourage more rangatahi to use te reo Māori in their everyday lives.

"WatchMojo Māori shows how this can be done, he says.

“This is a golden opportunity to meet rangatahi audiences head on, with infotainment and programming they can like, comment on and share.”

Other new shows include The real housewives of Ngāruawahia and John and Willie take on New York.

"This is a prototype or experiment to see what the appetite is like for fluent Māori rangatahi," says Ngatai.