Maori Carving Commissioned for Waitangi Day

22 01 2008

New Zealand’s national indigenous broadcaster, Maori Television, has commissioned a major carving project on the billboard site of its Auckland headquarters in the lead-up to the channel’s special Waitangi Day programming on Wednesday February 6 2008.

Maori artist Blaine Te Rito (Kahungunu, Ngapuhi, Ngati Waiora) and British woodcarver Mike Davies – both acknowledged experts in their fields – are collaborating on a carved artwork at the Newmarket studio site in the three weeks leading up to New Zealand’s national day. A crew will film the project for a reality-style piece to screen during the Waitangi Day broadcast.

A webcam will operate so people can watch the carvers at work via the website www.maoritelevision.com/waitangi. New Zealanders at home and abroad can also go to the website to upload their own written and video messages for the broadcast recording their thoughts on Waitangi and what it means to be a citizen of New Zealand.

Maori Television chief executive Jim Mather says the aim of the carving project is to create a new legacy for Waitangi Day, inspiring celebration and building nationhood. “The carving will celebrate the spirit of partnership using simplistic symbols to identify the Maori and Pakeha cultures moving forward into the future,” Mr Mather says.

KOTAHI TE RA: WAITANGI 2008 – beginning at 9.00 AM and ending at 9.00 PM – will also include reports from key Waitangi Day events at home and abroad as well as news, views, interviews, discussions, documentaries, entertainment and historical highlights.

For the second year in a row, Julian Wilcox will anchor the live-to-air broadcast from commemorations at the birthplace of the Treaty of Waitangi in the Bay of Islands while veteran broadcaster Tainui Stephens and media personality Stacey Morrison will co-present the special show from the channel’s Auckland studio.

For unprecedented coverage of New Zealand’s national day, tune into Maori Television for KOTAHI TE RA: WAITANGI 2008 – on Wednesday February 6 2008 from 9.00 AM to 9.00 PM.

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