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Newsletters > Diversity Action Programme > Nga Reo Tangata: Media and Diversity Network > 2009 > May

Nga Reo Tangata: Media and Diversity Network

ISSN 1178-0932 May, 2009

The BSA has released a new paper entitled Māori Worldviews and Broadcasting Standards: What Should be the Relationship? to provide a platform for discussion of the relationship between broadcasting standards and Māori worldviews and interests.

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This paper follows up some questions raised by the BSA's 2005 publication The Portrayal of Māori and Te Ao Māori in Broadcasting: the foreshore and seabed issue, including whether the standards as currently framed adequately reflect Māori realities, concerns and interests.

By setting out the present context for the BSA's work and outlining the decisions the BSA has made on issues of particular concern to Māori, the BSA hopes to provide a ready resource for everyone who is interested in that discussion.

Download (324kb DOC)

The little station that could

Canterbury’s little community access station Plains FM 96.9 scooped a NZ Radio Award for the fourth year running at this year’s New Zealand Radio Awards. Naoko Kudo won the award for Best Spoken/Informational Programme in Any Language for Japanese Downunder which she has produced and presented since 2002.

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"Back in Japan access radio doesn't really exist. We're very lucky to have this opportunity in New Zealand allowing volunteers, like me, to produce great radio around the country," said Ms Kudo.

Naoko Kudo's show is presented in English, with event information in Japanese. A regular soap opera, interviews and the latest Japanese music are also featured. Hundreds of volunteers like her create thousands of hours of radio every year on community access stations from Auckland to Invercargill.

Since the community access category was first included in the NZ Radio Awards in 1993 there have only been three years when Plains FM's programme producers have not made it to the finals. Twenty finalists and nine winners is an exceptional achievement for the little community station with the big heart and the most wins of any access station in the country. Other finalists in this category were: Inclusion Fusion - Ron Main (Fresh FM, Nelson) and Wheels On Fire - Matthew Wills & Sonia Boyd (Arrow FM, Wairarapa).

The Māori Television Service Act has been reviewed and the broadcaster says it is welcoming the results of a review into its legislation. The review by independent panel, Te Kāhui o Māhutonga, covered the operation and effectiveness of the Māori Television Service (Te Aratuku Whakaata Irirangi Māori) Act 2003.

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The review report's key recommendations aimed at ensuring the legislation governing Māori Television is updated and relevant and that Māori Television is well positioned to achieve its goals, fully participate in technological advancements, and continue its success as an indigenous language broadcaster.

But areas identified for improvement are language quality and the current funding model.

Māori Television chief executive Jim Mather welcomed the review report as a positive mechanism to work towards continued success and improvement, and that a Māori language plan and policy is being developed.

"It is very pleasing to note that the focus of the wider Māori language discussion has now moved from quantity to quality," Mr Mather says. "In the past (the) focus has been on getting more and more Māori programming to air; now the industry is maturing and focus is going, rightfully, on to quality."

Ethnic radio station makes history

In one of the more dramatic results in New Zealand’s radio history independent Radio Tarana, aimed at the Auckland Indian community, was among the top 10 radio stations in the greater Auckland region.

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A Research International survey found Radio Tarana to have increased its audience by more than 50 per cent to 4.6 per cent, making it the region's ninth most listened to radio station, beating long-established mainstream stations, Radio Hauraki, More FM, Radio Live, Radio Sport and Solid Gold FM.

It is also the only ethnic radio station in New Zealand to be ranked among the top 10.

The survey was conducted between February 14 and March 17 and saw the station increase by 26,300 listeners from its previous survey, which was a record for any radio station in New Zealand between two survey periods.

Robert Khan, the station's managing director, described the results as ''stunning''.
''I am overwhelmed with the ratings and pleased with our performance,'' he said.

''As well as continuous and remarkable increase in our listenership, it is gratifying that an ethnic radio station is competing with mainstream broadcasters.''

Established 13 years ago, Radio Tarana 1386 AM is a 24-hour, free-to-air radio station broadcasting news on the hour, current affairs, sports, talkback and music. The station is the exclusive provider of BBC Hindi and Urdu Fiji News in New Zealand.

With increasing Chinese and Korean student numbers, Japanese monthly E-Cube – a glossy magazine targetting international students – has gone multilingual.

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The free publication, known for its features on careers and food, is now being published in Japanese, Chinese and Korean. "We used to have only Japanese and a little English to help Kiwis understand, but it is important to also let other communities like the Chinese and Koreans understand us,'' said editorial staff Takayuki Nozawa.

With a print-run of 18,000, the magazine is distributed throughout the country through outlets such as ethnic food halls, language schools and Asian supermarkets.

Experienced newsmen helm New Zealand’s new national Indian weekly – the Indian Weekender. The weekly, published by Kiwi Media Group, aimed at an increasingly competitive market of about 120,000 Indians in New Zealand, will be challenging the long-established Indian Newslink.

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Editor Dev Nadkarni is a former journalism co-ordinator at the University of the South Pacific and chief reporter Thakur Rajit Singh is a former Fiji Daily Post publisher and a current columnist for the Fiji Times. "We Kiwi Indians have that rare opportunity to have the best of both worlds and most of us have made the best of that opportunity too,'' Nadkarni wrote in his first editorial.

"Over the years, as in over a hundred countries around the world, people of ethnic Indian extraction have grown to be a force to reckon with both economically, and more recently, politically. "That has been possible mainly because of Indians' great propensity for ingenuity, hard work, adherence to their cultural values and the innate ability to assimilate into any culture while yet preserving their own identity.' "It is these attributes of Indians in New Zealand, Kiwi Indians, that we at the Indian Weekender wish to celebrate.''

Most Indians live in Auckland, which includes a strong Indo-Fijian community. Publisher Giri Gupta said the paper aimed to tell the ''many untold positive stories'' about Indian community successes. The Indian Weekender is distributed nationwide and has a print run of 8000.

The Pacific Island Media Association of New Zealand (PIMA) is left without a chief after its chairman Aaron Taouma announced his resignation last week. PIMA was formed in 2001 by Pacific Island television and radio broadcasters, newspaper publishers and journalists, film makers and media students based here.

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Its aim is to support and develop Pacific Island people working in the media industry through training and advocacy by building partnerships. Its constitution was changed in 2007, and a new motto and mission was introduced: Network, Communicate, Educate.

The remaining committee members include: Phil McGrath (TVNZ7), Angelina Weir (Pacific Business Trust), Peter Rees (Spasifik), Susana Talagi (TV3) and Vaimoana Tapaleao (NZ Herald).

The brand new Polyfest 2009 series is about to hit the screens of the nation on Saturdays at 9.30am on TV2 for five weeks. Here’s the run down of the hosts and the Pasifika cultures featured in the series.

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Niue - Saturday 16 May

This week Daya Sao-Mafiti puts the fire into fierce as schools from Auckland, Niue and Kaitaia as they show us why Niue is called the Savage islands.

Cook Islands - Saturday 23 May

Join Natasha Tekoronga and Johnson Raela as they shake it up with the pounding beats from the Cook Islands stage of the Polyfest. While the action heats up from the top competing groups in Auckland, hip hop legend Savage checks some of the special flavours from Polyfest, Cook Islands style.

Tonga - Saturday 30 May

Valerie Vili's people bring the thunder, as Tongan students from over 60 Auckland schools stampede the stage of the Polyfest. This week Yvonne Taufa explores Tongan culture at its finest with the big dance styles from the world's smallest Kingdom.

Māori - Saturday 6 June

Ex-Shortland St star Scotty Cotter checks out some of the most daring and dazzling moves in young kapa haka culture as the schools battle it out for the Polyfest prize on the Māori stage.

Samoa - Saturday 13 June

In this finale of Polyfest -the biggest dance Polynesian dance festival in the world, we rock it to the rhythms of Samoa as host Mario Faumui shows us the fastest claps and slaps in the Pacific.

Asia Downunder staff are delighted with their new timeslot on Saturday mornings on TV One. Bharat Jamnadas, who has been with the company since it started says he is hopeful that the programme will attract more mainstream viewers after being moved from its usual Sunday morning 8.30am slot to 10.30am on TV One last month.

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"This is something that we have been talking about and fighting for years about, and suddenly, it just happened,'' he said. He said the more reasonable time will let viewers who wake up later on a Sunday morning to watch the programme dedicated to issues and happenings concerning Asian New Zealanders.

Reaction is mixed to the new time slot. For Malaysian immigrant Janice Low it has been a "routine" for her to watch Asia Downunder before attending church at 10am, but the new timing meant she has to give it a miss all together.

But late Sunday riser Randy Parton says he watched the programme for the first time last week, and that it was enough to turn him into the programme's "newest fan''.

Samoan language and culture will be celebrated during Samoan Language Week from Sunday 24 May to Sunday 31 May, immediately before Samoa Independence Day on 1 June.

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Samoan and Pacific media will have special programming and stories to mark the week, but mainstream media are also being challenged to recognise one of the largest ethnic communities in New Zealand. There are 131,000 Samoans living in New Zealand, making them the fourth largest ethnic group after New Zealand Europeans, Māori and Chinese. The Samoan language is the third most commonly spoken language after English and Māori.

TVNZ's Tagata Pasifika will feature the week in its 21 May programme, which is re-broadcast throughout the Pacific, Māori TV and TVNZ 7. The Pacific Media Network will promote Samoan Language Week through its programmes on Niu FM, Radio 531 PI, and its website- including short ads, interviews, and language learning material. The Samoa Multimedia Group Ltd (which includes Radio Samoa and the Samoa Times) is launching its new studios for Radio Samoa 1593AM in Auckland during the week, and promoting Samoan Language Week through its networks.

Wellington's Samoan Capital Radio will be working with the Samoan Teachers Association and the Samoan Studies Centre at Victoria University to encourage young people to text messages in Samoan during the week.

Samoan Language week is being promoted by FAGASA (the Association of Samoan Language Teachers) in association with the Human Rights Commission and a range of Samoan community, media and educational groups.

Race Relations Commissioner Joris de Bres said that the week provides an opportunity to raise awareness about the contribution of the Samoan community to New Zealand society, as well as to promote the Samoan language and culture. He said that very few people realise that the Samoan community is the fourth largest ethnic group in New Zealand and that the Samoan language is the third most commonly spoken language.

He encouraged mainstream media to feature stories about the Samoan community during Samoan Language Week as well as promoting some basic phrases that everyone can use. Activities will be taking place at schools throughout New Zealand and also in churches and communities. Details of some activities and demographic information on the Samoan community are available on the Samoan Language Week website.