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TVNZ and Maori TV in talks for single te reo newservice: 'If you don't move that way, you're a dinosaur'

TVNZ has been the home of Maori news for the past 35 years, with Maori Television delivering its service since 2004.

Now, the broadcasters are exploring whether there should be just one te reo newservice between them.

John Tamihere is a board member for Maori Television who says New Zealand's broadcast media landscape should mirror international standards.

"If you look around the world, there's alignment, merging and there's collaboration in this fast-moving space and that's the way we have to move.

"If you don't move that way, you're a dinosaur," Mr Tamihere says.

TVNZ chief executive Kevin Kenrick says that option may be on the cards.

"I think there's an absolute willingness on the part of TVNZ and Maori Television to really look at this and to constructively look at this and see whether we can have a better outcome," he says.

Government agency Te Mangai Paho funds both broadcasters, as well as Iwi radio stations, to the tune of $9 million.

Larry Parr is the chief executive of Te Mangai Paho who says the agency has been pushing for rationalisation since 2008.

"Nobody wanted to give up their patch so it was a challenge and now we might be in a space where they can have a sensible conversation about it," Mr Parr says.

"Because of the way the broadcast landscape is changing, I think the time is right for it to finally happen again."

Both TVNZ and Maori Television say they have yet to discuss which broadcaster would provide the service to the other.

However, Mr Tamihere says Maori Television wants to provide Iwi radio news which may hinder negotiations between the two.

While the talks are still in its early stages, veteran broadcaster Tini Molyneux warns a monopoly would mean fewer voices will be heard, making the Maori newservice subject to political pressure.

"Politicians have been known to actually step in and try and tell reporters how they should report on stories and I don't think that's a good thing," Ms Molyneux says.

The industry veteran is not completely opposed to the rationalisation, however.

"I think you could actually put your resources together and make better programmes and at this point in time, I don't think we have the expertise in journalism to actually continue the way that we do.

"It's a struggle to get good Maori journos and I guess how they are at the moment everybody keeps poaching each other's staff and I don't know whether that's a good thing," she says.

The two broadcasters are exploring whether there should be just a single te reo newservice between the government funded outlets. Source: 1 NEWS