Maori TV puts emphasis on Waitangi Day coverage

24 01 2008

New Zealand’s national indigenous broadcaster, Maori Television, will present a 12-hour broadcast dedicated to New Zealand’s national day, Waitangi Day, on Wednesday February 6 2008.

KOTAHI TE RA: WAITANGI 2008 – beginning at 9.00 AM and ending at 9.00 PM – will 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, Maori Television’s Julian Wilcox will anchor the live-to-air broadcast from commemorations at the birthplace of the Treaty of Waitangi in the Bay of Islands. Veteran broadcaster Tainui Stephens will co-present the special show from the channel’s Auckland studio.

Reporters will also provide updates from Waitangi Day events throughout the country – such as Christchurch, Wellington, Gisborne and Hamilton – and from overseas including Australia and Great Britain.

Special documentaries include GOD AND GUNS – about the involvement of the church in the genesis of the treaty – and THE NAVY AND THE TREATY which will focus on the historical involvement of the Royal Navy in the Waitangi commemorations.

Other schedule highlights include interviews with kaumatua (elders) as well as special studio guests.

Maori language news programme TE KAEA at 7.30 PM (with English language subtitles at 11.00 PM) will have a special Waitangi focus; and a one-hour Waitangi debate will screen at 8.00 PM.

Kiwis at home and abroad can also go to the Maori Television website – http://www.maoritelevision.com – and upload their own video messages for the broadcast recording their thoughts on Waitangi and what it means to be a citizen of New Zealand.

Waitangi Day is a public holiday held each year to commemorate the signing of the treaty – New Zealand’s founding document – on February 6 1840.

Maori Television chief executive Jim Mather says the success of the inaugural Waitangi Day broadcast earlier this year has prompted the channel to make this an annual event.

“Our unique television programming will contribute to the debate on New Zealand’s future through accounts of our past, debates about our present and offers of hope for our future,” Mr Mather says.

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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