Dec. 4, 2018, 6 a.m.
Aotearoa has 21 iwi radio stations spread across the country from Te Reo Irirangi o Te Hiku o te Ika in the Far North to Tahu FM in the south. These iwi radio stations have played an instrumental role in growing Māori language broadcasters for not only regional broadcasting but national television stations too.
Te reo Māori has always been front and centre as the main priority and foundation for iwi radio alumni. This has made their transition from radio broadcasters to TV personalities relatively easy with their skills and experience from days on the radio desk, hosting topical radio shows and interactions with their whanau and communities through some of the many events attended by iwi radio.
Rukuwai Tipene-Allen’s (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Hine, Te Rarawa and Ngāi Te Rangi) career had humble beginnings at Te Reo Irirangi o Te Hiku o te Ika over two years ago. In a short time, however, she has become a successful reporter for Māori Television’s flagship news show Te Kaea and regularly features as an anchor on Kawe Kōrero.
She explains how the interviewing skills and media experience she gleaned through iwi radio has helped her navigate her way through television media and also assisted in her goal to maintain a high level of Māori fluency and share this beautiful taonga with the world.
Rukuwai explains that iwi radio broadcasting is a seedbed for media experience and that working with haukāinga on iwi radio live-streaming really help prepare her for the newsroom.
Leah Te Whata (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Whātua) started her broadcasting career at Palmerston North's Kia Ora FM at the young age of 16 then became the breakfast presenter for Awa FM. With a passion for Te Reo Māori and kaupapa Māori, Te Whata relocated to the ‘Big Smoke’ and is now a reporter for the News and Current Affairs department at Māori Television.
Peter-Lucas Jones (Ngāi Takoto, Te Aupōuri, Ngāti Kahu, Te Rarawa), Deputy Chairman of Te Whakaruruhau o Ngā Reo Irirangi Māori explained that when our Māori radio broadcasters can grow their regional iwi radio experience into television broadcasting it is something for iwi stations to celebrate and is one way Māori media can collaborate.