Forty nine Māori students from 21 Iwi radio stations have just graduated the Foundation Skills for Radio Certificate with the help of Te Māngai Pāho.
Te Māngai Pāho are the funding agency for the national Māori radio network, they have contracted Whitireia New Zealand to provide training services, assisting the 49 to up-skill.
The majority of the students are already working in Māori broadcasting, although they have had no formal qualifications. They have learned on the job.
One of the graduates, Ra Winikerei, says: “This was the big push with Whitireia to get these skills acknowledged and recognised via NZQA.
“The certificate has already had a massive impact in allowing them to do their jobs much more efficiently and better after the course.”
Winikerei also said there is quite a high turn over of staff, especially in the rural areas, and he hopes this encourages others to take up the opportunity to bring the skill level of new recruits up to standard.
“This is a great opportunity to prepare people, Iwi radio can be a stepping stone to transition people from radio into television. If we can do as much as possible at the foundation level, then we really are preparing the John Campbell’s of tomorrow,” he explains.
Only around six of the 49 are currently able to fluently communicate in Māori. “Fortunately this achievement will go a long way to helping the current Māori language resurgence,” adds Winirekei.
The training provided in the foundation skills of broadcasting will allow Iwi broadcasters to increase their use of Te Reo.
The Iwi network radio stations are broadcasting in a bilingual format. Whitieria’s Larry Summerville says: “This is important, as Iwi radio becomes more inclusive of non fluent Te Reo speakers.”
He adds: “There are very few people in the industry who have the skill set to critique the Māori language on air, however with successes such as this, it may not be this way for long.
“Hopefully this encourages the Māori community to engage more with the culture, with a strong foundation for success in the future.”