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Māori broadcasting set for major shakeup as Government proposes single service

The Māori broadcasting landscape is set for a major shakeup, with Labour proposing that Māori Television become the single provider of Māori news.

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A long-awaited report from the Government proposes funding Māori Television as the sole provider of Māori news. Source: 1 NEWS

Pioneering Māori news service Te Karere has delivered on TVNZ1 for 38 years but it's facing an uncertain future, and it's not alone.

Waatea News, as well as current affairs shows Marae and The Hui, are all under threat.

The proposal is a surprise for some.

"These are all of our futures. We've built our whole careers and we've been telling our stories for our people with no voices for 20-25 years now, so we have no idea, no ones consulted with us,” says The Hui’s Mihingarangi Forbes.

The Government is proposing a single Māori news service run by Māori Television.

Iwi media stations would also be funded to contribute.

“What I’m saying is that there is the capacity in the Māorii media sector to draw from the depth of talent that we have in our regions, certainly within our iwi radio space, to merge up,” Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta says.

In a statement, Māori Televsion says it'll be giving its feedback in due course.

Former broadcaster Derek Fox, the original face of Māori news, welcomes the proposal.

“I Think it's a good idea to be able to get the best journalists we can and I know and many of us and many of us know we are very short on the ground in terms of good journalism,” he says.

But some say that Māori media are been treated like a poor cousin by the Government and that viewers will be worse off.

“The minister Grant Robertson talks about how important plurality of voice is in mainstream and that is the reason that they’re bailing out the companies, but it’s got to be the same for Māori media as well,” says Ms Forbes.

TVNZ says it wants funding for news to be openly contested.

Submissions are due in by the end of June.