Radical changes to shake up Māori TV newsroom

By Tepara Koti

Māori Television has confirmed today that their present news and current affairs shows, Kawekōrero, Native Affairs and Rereātea will finish at the end of 2018, while flagship news show Te Kāea is set to become Te Ao in February 2019.

Māori Television's Deputy Chief Executive Shane Taurima made the announcement to all Māori Television staff today, confirming that the four news and current affairs shows will be amalgamated under the new brand.

Taurima says Māori Television is embarking on a comprehensive strategy to position itself as a modern "digital-first" media organisation.

"The new strategy is based on a Māori media hub that delivers news as it happens across our online platforms and television.  An evening news broadcast will still be shown.

"We produce content for platforms, not for specific programmes.  It’ll be news first, content second.  We tell the story as we know it, on the best, most suitable and most instant platform.  In essence, this is about providing a Māori news anywhere, anytime, on any device.

"These changes will be driven by what our audiences want, where they are, and how they want it [and] also recognising our kaupapa of te reo Māori and tikanga Māori revitalisation."

Taurima says the major overhaul will position Māori Television's news service as an efficient, cost-effective and sustainable news operation flexible enough to take advantage of new business opportunities.

"There is an emphasis on our reporters to be out-and-about in our communities and at all the different and important Māori occasions throughout the motu.  The result will mean more Māori news content.

"A key priority is to increase skills, knowledge and expertise of our staff.  Importantly, our reporters will become multi-media journalists and this means existing staff will shift from their current jobs to newly created positions."

It is hoped that the changes, the most significant in Māori Television's 14-year history, will establish the broadcaster as a modern, platform-neutral and "digital-first" media organisation.

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