April 04, 2016
Ngata the icebreaker for language challenge
Slow and steady is the path taken by Whai Ngata to bring Maori language content to state television.
Mr Ngata, the head of Television New Zealand's Maori and Pacific unit until his retirement in 2008, died yesterday after a long illness.
Waipareira chief executive John Tamihere says his uncle was a humble man, a scholar of Maori language and culture and a gentleman to the last.
"He wouldn't contest or compete vigourously and a lot of people were frustrated by that but under his slow and steady supervision the cause of Maori language on mainstream broadcasting lifted quite dramatically. Despite everybody wanting the Maori language 24/7, you had to have people like him that actually started to break the ice for you," he says.
The funeral for Tanara Whairiri Kitawhiti Ngata will be at Hiruharama Marae in Ruatoria at 1pm Wednesday.
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