February 13, 2020
Aotearoa Radio lost opportunity
A Māori broadcasting veteran says the controversy over RNZ Concert highlights the long term failure to properly fund Māori radio.
Radio New Zealand abandoned its plans to sack Concert FM staff and run an automated classical music jukebox on the AM frequency after a massive public outcry.
Haare Williams says Māori radio has been a victim of political neglect, with limited advances under Labour Governments and drying up of funds and support under National.
He says the ideal would be a national Māori station on the AM frequency, which came closest to fruition in the 1980s with Radio Aotearoa.
"Although Māori radio sprang to a good start, a change of Government dropped the whole idea. Consequently, it was, to me anyway, watered down to Māori iwi radio stations, set up without the adequate funding, so there is still a deficit there I think a deficit there with the other partner of the treaty," Mr Williams says.
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