No new findings in Māori media review – Radio host

By Talisa Kupenga

The Māori media sector receives significantly lower budgets to produce content compared with other media, the Māori Media Sector Shift review shows.  However, broadcaster Adrian Wagner says uncertainty remains, with a decision about the wider sector's future not expected until the end of the year.

Te Upoko o te Ika Radio host Adrian Wagner was not surprised at the review findings.

"There was nothing new in that review, it showed us the financial struggles of the Māori media sector, Māori Television, radio and the like, but that's nothing new."

The review aims to identify the best way to fund and produce Māori content and ensure the sector is 'fit for purpose' in a new digital age.

Wagner says, "They want us to broadcast te reo Māori everywhere we can, but it seems they don't want to fund us to enable us to do so."

Currently the average per hour cost for a NZ On Air programme is nearly $1mil, compared with just under $40,000 per hour of programming for Te Māngai Pāho.

Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta says, “The way in which NZ On Air funds per hour differs significantly to the way in which Te Māngai Pāho funds.  But, we have got to look at how we can increase NZ content and how greater collaboration between funders could exist going into the future."

Wagner says, "If the resources don't eventuate then we will be reduced to just playing music, that is why I want to see good outcomes for radio, not closures or mergers."

Mahuta says the review aims to align to the broader public media sector review.