April 16, 2020
Maori radio fights for fair share of relief funds
Parliaments’s pandemic response select committee has been told the Government needs to up its support for Māori radio.
The committee chaired by Opposition leader Simon Bridges has this week been looking at the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the media sector.
Peter Lucas Jones, the chair of iwi radio group Te Whakaruruhau o ngā reo irirangi Māori, says the crisis has shown how valuable iwi radio is as the last bastion of community broadcasting.
“We are the people that provide essential services to Māori communities that are not connected to the internet, to kuia and kaumatua that seek out their trusted source of information from their iwi radio station, and I think iwi radio provides those services and repackages them, repurposes information in such a way that complements the diversity of voice among Maori,” he says.
Mr Jones says Māori broadcast funding agency Te Māngai Pāho switched money from its innovation fund to give iwi stations extra resources to respond to the COVID-19 crisis, but much more is needed.
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