27 Mar 2014

Te Reo builds digital footprint

6:36 am on 27 March 2014

A new programme has been set up to develop Maori language and culture through the digital world.

A funding partnership between New Zealand On Air and Te Mangai Paho aims to create a way to tell stories by and for Māori outside the traditional broadcast model.

It's hoped it will help audiences increase their understanding of Te Reo and encourage use of the language.

Te Mangai Paho chief executive John Bishara says former Maori Affairs minister Parekura Horomia, pushed hard to put through a policy so that organisations like Te Mangai Paho might have the opportunity to use new media.

But he says while Maori were given the responsibility they were never given the resources and until now things have been difficult.

Mr Bishara says joining with NZ On Air and the $500,000 will enhance opportunities for Maori storytellers and tellers of Māori stories.

He believes if it works, the five webseries will increase audience's understanding of Te Reo and use of it.

Mr Bishara says the webseries model has been used successfully in Ireland and Wales where it's helped revitalise the language and he believes it could do the same for Maori

Two of the online projects will be in Te Reo while the other three will be stories about Maori.

Mr Bishara says it's an opportunity for production companies and individuals to put forward a proposal.

Applications for the fund must be received by 30 May.