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Mai FM - It's Cool to Kōrero

Television (Full Length) – 1999

This NZ TV award-nominated documentary tells the story of radio station Mai FM. Founded in 1992 by Auckland iwi Ngāti Whātua, its mix of hip hop, r’n’b and te reo soon won ratings success. Original breakfast host Robert Rakete recalls early days when the station was a CD player hooked up to an aerial, while Mai FM's champions argue the station has executed its kaupapa: promoting Māori language and culture to the youth of Auckland, including the breakout phrase, “it’s cool to kōrero!” The introduction by Tainui Stephens was done for Māori TV's doco slot He Raranga Kōrero.  

If they hear that Māori can be funky too and that you don't have to be an old koro with grey hair and a tokotoko to speak Māori, that you can be a smooth young brother that looks like myself ...
– Te Hamua Nikora on getting young Māori into te reo

Produced by

Te Aratai Productions


Made with funding from NZ On Air