12 Sep 2012

Iwi radio may be asked to lift programme quality

6:32 am on 12 September 2012

Iwi radio stations may be asked to broadcast fewer Maori language programmes, in an effort to improve the content.

The Maori Broadcasting Funding Agency (Te Mangai Paho) says it's looking for quality over quantity.

The radio stations were set up to help promote the Maori language and culture, and most are taxpayer-funded to ensure they broadcast at least eight hours per day in Maori.

Te Mangai Paho annually gives 21 stations $384,000 each.

Chief executive John Bishara said the Maori language is in crisis.

He said the quality of te reo Maori should not be compromised and the agency is considering spending more on producing quality shows.

But Mr Bishara said that could result in fewer hours broadcast in Maori, because funding is tight.

He said some iwi radio stations capable of broadcasting in te reo Maori 15 hours a day, but others can't.

Te Mangai Paho is also planning to increase its monitoring of the stations' output.