Asia-Pacific Network/Ruia Mai: 7 April 2004
END OF ERA FOR RUIA MAI - MAORI RADIO PIONEER
The head of Maori radio service Ruia Mai has paid tribute to the many staff who contributed to the production of thousands of hours of Maori language radio programming for the iwi radio network over the past eight years. The station has lost the contract for network Maori news.
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The head of Maori radio service Ruia Mai has paid tribute to the many staff who contributed to the production of thousands of hours of Maori language radio programming for the iwi radio network over the past eight years.
Ruia Mai part of the Mai Media group of companies owned by Auckland tribe Ngati Whatua was launched in May 1996 to deliver the first ever 100 per cent Maori language broadcast, initially on a three-month contract with the Maori broadcasting funding agency, Te Mangai Paho.
Mai Media Ltd managing director Graham Pryor says a decision was made by Te Mangai Paho yesterday to award the news and current affairs contract to another contender, Radio Waatea.
Radio Waatea is not aligned to an iwi. It is owned by UMA (Urban Maori Authority) Broadcasting and is based at the Nga Whare Waatea Marae in Mangere.
The current contract ends on June 30, 2004.
"Some 15 staff from Ruia Mai will lose their jobs," Pryor says. "Were obviously extremely sad but this is also a good time to celebrate the tremendous achievements that weve achieved for Maori broadcasting."
Over the years, Ruia Mai has produced news, current affairs, sport, education, youth and music shows as well as special broadcasts live from major Maori events such as the Maori Sports Awards and the national kapa haka and speech competitions.
Seven days a week, a team of producers, reporters and presenters in Auckland, Wellington, Rotorua and Christchurch have generated hours of Maori language programming for the national network of iwi radio stations.
Ruia Mai has also won numerous awards for its work including Best Maori Language Broadcast at the New Zealand Radio Awards in 1999, 2000, 2002 and 2003 as well as being nominated twice in this category this year (2004).
A bilingual political special, Nga Tino Poutama, was nominated at the Media Peace Awards in 2002 and at the inaugural Maori Media Awards held in Rotorua recently, Ruia Mai won four out of the eight awards including Best Outside Broadcast, Best Maori Language Programme and Best Presenter.
Current staff includes Kingi Taurua, Wiremu Huta-Martin, Shane Taurima, Ngahuia Wade, Mere McLean, Roihana Nuri, Orini Kaipara, Kingi Biddle, Taiha Molyneux, Mana Epiha, Semi Holland, Eruera Rerekura, Mania Clarke, Natalie Emery and general manager Pere Maitai.
Ruia Mai has been a major player in the development of individuals who have then moved into other areas of the broadcasting industry, Pryor says.
Former staff include: TVNZ reporters and presenters Scotty Morrison Amomai Pihama, Dean Nathan, Tahuri Tumoana, Potaka Maipi, Irena Smith and Eruera Morgan; from the new Maori Television Service, Ngarimu Daniels, Tina Wickliffe, Annabelle Lee-Harris, Ngatapa Black and Kingi Ihaka; Reikura Morgan from Pukana fame; as well as Albie and Henare Pryor, Caleb Maitai, Ngamaru Raerino, Tu, Tau and Tamati Waaka, Arana Taumata, Wena Tait, Ati Teepa, Sonny Kirikiri, Erana Karauti, Piripi Taylor, Kororia Taumaunu, Paora Ropata, Quinton Hita, Haare Williams, Te Rangihau Gilbert, Debra Jensen, Jason Ake, Rereata Makiha, Rangi McGarvey, Te Aroha Anderson, Te Hamua Nikora, Patrick McGarvey and Kawana Pihama.
"From the date the contract was first secured in April 1996, a fully operational national network was established, staffed by some of the countrys leading Maori broadcasters and journalists," Pryor says.
"Weve consolidated our place in radio history and our success is evidence that Maori language and culture can be retained and enhanced. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the iwi stations throughout the country who have supported us over the years.
For more information, contact Ruia Mai general manager Pere Maitai on 09 9777 846 or 0275 777 846; or Mai Media communications manager Vanessa Bidois on 0275 777 838.