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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, March 31, 2008

TV hui opens up world of opportunity

Expect to see more Native Americans, Native Canadians, Welsh and Taiwanese on Maori Television.

That's one of the outcomes of the first World Indigneous Television Broadcasters Conference, which wound up in Auckland on Friday.

Jim Mather, the Maori channel's chief executive, says it was a great opportunity for the broadcasters to find how much they had in common.

He says the nine organisations represented from around the world are keen to maintain the momentum.

“Previously we had all been operating in isolation and not really connecting or sharing programming or other areas of expertise so we’ve created a world indigenous television broadcasters’ network which is probably one of the key outcomes of the conference and it is going to ensure that we remain connected and start getting some efficiencies out of that relationship,” Mr Mather says.

The network could lead to sharing of programmes and staff exchanges.


Ten Northland rangatahi are off to jobs in forestry after graduating from a course aimed at addressing a labour shortage in the industry.

Morgan Toia, a Northland training advisor for the Forest Industry Training and Education Consortium, says the pine forests planted on Maori land in the north in the 1970s and 80s are now maturing, and people are needed to cut them down.

The seven-week course was run in association with Work and Income and lessee Hancock Forest Management,

While most of the trainees had little forestry experience, they were chosen because they had the right attitude.

“You've got to like it because it’s a lot of hard work. Maori excel in that sort of thing and the teamwork that’s involved in working in the bush. It’s been like that a long time, going back 50 years. Maori have always been predominant in forestry,” Mr Toia says.

The next FITEC course will probably be run on the East Coast, where there a similar labour shortage and forests coming on stream.


The author of a study of relationships between Maori and Chinese says she wanted to highlight some of the positives which have been overshadowed in recent years.

Manying Ip, an associate professor at Auckland University's school of Asian studies, says the influx of Asian migrants in the 1990s caused tensions and resentment in some Maori communities.

She says her earlier research into the history of Chinese migration to New Zealand told her that was not always the way.

“In all those years that I’ve been doing the Chinese community, the Maori presence always came up in the reminiscences, in the recollections of the Chinese people. They are market gardeners and they all know of mixed Chinese-Maori families or they would have very close relationship with Maori people, cousins and brothers. They are very close, very cordial relationship,” Dr Ip says.

Being Maori-Chinese: Mixed Identities is published by Auckland University Press.


Maori Party MP Te Ururoa Flavell says the Police Commissioner’s expression of regret for the hurt caused by last October's terror raids in Ruatoki was a good first step.

But the Waiariki MP says a formal apology should be offered to Tuhoe as well as an explanation.

He also questions the appropriateness of the commissioner making the statement at a hui in Wainuiomata without talking to Tuhoe.

“The biggest issue at the moment is the ability to go in front of the people and face the people who bore the bring of the actions of the police. That’s where things have got to end up,” Mr Flavell says.

The Human Rights Commission and the Police Complaints Authority have been asked to look at the way the raids were executed.


Nga Aho Whakaari members are welcoming the chance to sell their programmes to overseas television stations.

Ngamaru Raerino, who chairs the association of Maori in Film, Video and Television, says last week’s conference of Indigenous broadcasters was a great opportunity to look at offshore markets for Maori programmes.

Advances in technology mean that Maori content can be made easily available and the rise of indigenous media means there's a ready appetite for Maori stories.


A Maori fashion designer hopes Maori motifs will be her ticket to the world of haute couture.

Krystal Higgison from Ngapuhi, Tuhoe and Dutch stock is developing a menswear line to sell through her Auckland boutique, Little Black Crown.

She says while Maori casual wear is taking off in this country, she prefers to use Maori ideas and motifs in a more high fashion way, with overseas markets her eventual aim.

“I mean that's more important to me than making it at home really because everyone’s aware of it here and I think it’s much more exciting to know that you can take that overseas and make people that wouldn’t have easy access to it know more about it,” Higgison says.


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