TVNZ’s Maori news programme Te Karere is to be rescheduled to be the lead in programme to the 4.30pm news bulletin on TV ONE.
TVNZ Head of Television Jeff Latch told today’s Maori Affairs Select Committee that TVNZ had listened to a number of stakeholders who had asked for the first run of Te Karere, which is in its 25th year on air, to be moved from 3.40pm to a more accessible time.
Te Karere’s first run was moved last year from 4.30pm to 3.40pm as part of the rescheduling of programmes to make way for the then new 4.30pm news bulletin on TV ONE. As well as continuing with a second play in the mornings, a third play of Te Karere was scheduled at around midnight. As a result of last year’s changes Te Karere’s weekly average audience against Maori 5+ has increased by 14%.
To further improve its accessibility Te Karere also plays in prime time on advertising free TVNZ 7 and is streamed on TVNZ ondemand.
But Mr Latch said that when the move was made last year TVNZ promised funding body Te Mangai Paho that it would review the first run timing of Te Karere.
“We’re keen to further grow Te Karere’s audience and we’re hopeful that by moving it to 4.10pm as the lead in slot to the 4.30pm news bulletin that it will become more popular,” he said.
“We’ve listened to many Maori leaders and other stakeholders and we all share a desire for as many people who want to watch Te Karere to be able to do so. We’re hopeful that by moving it to the lead in slot before the 4.30pm news bulletin that it will continue to grow.”
He said TVNZ had recently produced a Maori Programme Strategy that aimed to triple over a number of years the hours of Maori programmes and broaden their appeal, particularly to younger viewers.
“As part of TVNZ’s new five year strategic plan, the company aims to be the local content leader and Maori programmes are a critical part of that.”