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Hero image for Whai Ngata: Māori broadcasting pioneer...

Whai Ngata: Māori broadcasting pioneer...

Interview – 2010

The late Whai Ngata (Ngāti Porou, Te Whānau ā Apanui), ONZM, had a long and distinguished career in television, radio and print. Beginning as a Māori reporter for The Auckland Star, Ngata moved on to Radio New Zealand in 1975, then joined TVNZ in 1983. Soon he was reading the news in Māori on Te Karere. Along with Ernie Leonard, he helped set up the Māori Programmes department at TVNZ, and was a key member of the Waka Huia team. In 1994 Ngata became head of the Māori department and was instrumental in creating long-running programmes like Marae and Mai Time.

In this ScreenTalk, Ngata talks about:

  • Opposition in the early 80s to the existence of te reo news programme Te Karere
  • Encountering gang members while on location in the Hokianga with fellow Te Karere newsreader Derek Fox
  • How saving the Māori language was not the reason behind having news in Māori
  • The huge impact the Te Māori exhibition had in America
  • The difficulty of filming sacred exhibits
  • How Waitangi Day has changed in 30 years of covering the event
  • How he thinks journalists should go beyond reporting on protests, to the reasons why they are occurring
  • Making the best of not having Māori programming in primetime
  • The huge success of The New Zealand Wars documentary series
  • The importance of Māori programming and language to New Zealand
This video was first uploaded on 5 July 2010, and is available under this Creative Commons licence. This licence is limited to use of ScreenTalk interview footage only and does not apply to any video content and photographs from films, television, music videos, web series and commercials used in the interview.
Interview, Camera and Editing - Andrew Whiteside