Tōrangapū: Nanaia Mahuta talks National Party leadership and Māori news services
Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta joined Te Karere from Tauranga to talk about the big news of the day.
Scotty: You’re in the local electorate of Simon Bridges, who also happens to be the first National leader of Māori descent. As a former negotiator for Ngāti Maniapoto, how significant is the appointment for the tribe?
Nanaia: Definitely. Ngāti Maniapoto is definitely happy for Simon and this achievement of becoming the leader of his political party.
Scotty: Do you think will Ngāti Maniapoto support him in his new position?
Nanaia: From what I've heard they called him to congratulate him. Ngāti Maniapoto rang him and expressed their belief in his ability to do his work within his party. There's plenty of work ahead of him.
Scotty: Given that the top two positions within National are held by Māori, with Paula Bennett holding on to the deputy position, it could be perceived that National have trumped Labour when we think of Māori in leadership roles within both parties. What's your response to that?
Nanaia: The main thing is parliament that’s been lifted seeing Māori in parliament and across all parties, and in top positions as well to lead on topics that will benefit Māori. The main thing for government is to strengthen us all and iwi Māori.
Scotty: Why are you in Tauranga?
Nanaia: We’ve come to represent the government at an event to support youth. To support them to unify and upskill them and empower them to seek education, skills and the right path into the future.
Scotty: Last week Te Karere turned 35 and we asked your colleague Willie Jackson about speculation of rationalising down to a single Māori news service. He deferred the question to you. As the responsible minister, what's your position on the issue?
Nanaia: I call on Te Māngai Pāho, Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori, Māori TV -and for them to get together to build a strategy together and to discuss what is their future together? What are their thoughts if they were to work together to strengthen the language? As well as thinking about all aspects of the media industry and to ask the question of what the future is. From there, build a strategy for them to achieve.
Scotty: In terms of rationalisation, the iwi radio network will appear before the Māori Select Committee tomorrow. There's also speculation about downsizing the number of iwi radio stations to seven, reflective of the same number of iwi representatives on Te Mātāwai board. What's your position on the issue and why?
Nanaia: I heard that as well. There were worries if we were to merge them or downsize together. So far they haven't come up with a solution. What I want is to hear is their own thoughts and opinions. I know the benefits of iwi radio and if they produce a new model it will be one many can follow. I’m going to leave it them to let us know of their ideas for iwi radio.