Māori Television

Māori Television is a New Zealand television station that broadcasts programmes that make a significant contribution to the revitalisation of the Māori language and culture.[1] Funded by the New Zealand Government, the station commenced broadcasting on 28 March 2004 from its studios in Newmarket, Auckland.

Māori Television
Launched28 March 2004
Owned by
Picture format
SloganMā rātou, mā mātou, mā koutou, mā tātou.
(For them, for us, for you, for everyone.)
CountryNew Zealand
HeadquartersAuckland, New Zealand
Free-to-air HD
Free-to-air SD


Māori Television was launched on 28 March 2004 and attracted a cumulative audience of 300,000 in its first month on air (April 2004). The main channel attracts 1.5 million viewers each month; half of all Māori aged five or more, and one third of all New Zealanders.[2] Te Reo, the station's second channel, was launched in 28 March 2008. It stands out from the main channel in that it is both free of advertising, and broadcast completely in Māori (without subtitles). Te Reo features special tribal programming with a particular focus on new programming for the fluent members of its audience.


The station is under the stewardship of two stakeholders which are the New Zealand Government, and the Māori Television Electoral College (Te Putahi Paoho). It has an annual budget of $45m, almost one third of state spending on television in New Zealand.

In July 2015, the Māori Television board decided that Hamilton or Rotorua could be a new home for the broadcaster.[3] The station has a seven-member board of directors.[4]


A survey conducted by Business and Economic Research Limited found that 84 per cent of the general New Zealand population believe that Māori Television should be a permanent part of New Zealand broadcasting.[2]

Māori Television continues to attract a rapidly growing and increasingly broad audience across age, gender and ethnicities. More than two-thirds of the audience are non-Māori, who are looking for local programming such as Kai Time on the Road, Kete Aronui and Ask Your Auntie, many New Zealand movies and documentaries, and the diverse range of international movies and documentaries that normally would not get air-time on the main commercial networks.



The station aims to revitalise Māori language and culture through its programming. The relevant legislation says "The principal function of the Service is to promote te reo Māori me nga tikanga Māori (Māori language and culture) through the provision of a high quality, cost-effective Māori television service, in both Māori and English, that informs, educates, and entertains a broad viewing audience, and, in doing so, enriches New Zealand's society, culture, and heritage".


Canadian John Davy was appointed chief executive of Māori Television in 2002. However, it was found that his qualifications were false — he claimed to hold a degree from "Denver State University" which did not exist — and he was fired.[6] In 2005, newsreader Julian Wilcox was fired (and reinstated) after he contributed to information provided to other media that led to negative coverage of the station. That same year, Te Kāea presenter Ngarimu Daniels was banned from taking part in protests, and her partner was referred to as a "dyke" by a senior station manager. She was awarded $16,000 compensation,[7] and her partner, Leonie Pihama, a leading Māori academic and film-maker, resigned from the station's board citing a conflict of interest.


  1. Impact of Mäori Television on the Mäori Language (PDF) (Report). Te Puni Kōkiri. July 2011. Retrieved 17 October 2017. The Impact Survey results show a consistent relationship between greater viewing of Mäori Television and increasing language usage, greater language learning, and proficiency increases and maintenance. Collectively these outcomes point towards Mäori Television having a marked positive contributing impact on Mäori language revitalisation.
  2. "Maori Television Marks Fifth On-Air Anniversary". Throng. 26 March 2009. Retrieved 26 June 2009.
  3. "Maori Television could move offices". 3 News. 24 November 2015. Archived from the original on 24 November 2015.
  4. "Board & Executive". Māori Television. Retrieved 20 November 2016.
  5. Five prominent Maori leaders share lifetime award for commitment to te reo and tikanga
  6. Louisa Cleave (29 May 2002). "John Davy sent to prison for eight months". The New Zealand Herald.
  7. Beston, Anne (31 August 2005). "Maori TV presenter wins $16,000, right to protest". NZ Herald. ISSN 1170-0777. Retrieved 17 October 2017.
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