31 Aug 2016

RNZ signs partnership with Te Whakaruruhau

7:44 pm on 31 August 2016

RNZ and the network of Māori radio stations - Te Whakaruruhau O Ngā Reo Irirangi Māori - signed an historic partnership agreement today.

RNZ chief executive Paul Thompson and Te Whakaruruhau chairman Willie Jackson seal the deal.

RNZ chief executive Paul Thompson (left) and Te Whakaruruhau chairman Willie Jackson seal the deal. Photo: RNZ / Shannon Haunui-Thompson

The Memorandum of Understanding is designed to benefit both organisations and ensure sharing of existing content, the sharing of expertise and knowledge, and the development of joint projects.

The initiative will also help RNZ increase the diversity of its audiences and further enrich its Māori content.

Te Whakaruruhau chairman Willie Jackson said he had been very critical of RNZ and their commitment to Māori programming, but this partnership went some way to meeting the obligations that RNZ had to Māori.

"Sometimes things take time and I'm really pleased with where we are today because there is respect for the network, there'll be a working of resources and sharing of resources in terms of workers, in terms of content, that's what it is all about."

RNZ chief executive Paul Thompson said he was delighted that both organisations had made a long-term commitment to building on their joint relationship over time, making a lasting and mutually fruitful partnership.

"Willie really challenged us as an organisation and I found it quite timely because we were thinking about these issues and the fact that RNZ should be looking to do a better job on its coverage of Māori language, Māori issues, Māori life and culture. It's really nice that something positive has come out of that criticism."

The 21 Māori radio stations that make up Te Whakaruruhau will get access to RNZ's programming and journalism, as well as working with the RNZ news team to cover Māori stories in a more collaborative way.

The iwi stations will also work with RNZ to help transform from radio broadcasters into multimedia content creators.

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