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It is the dawn of a new era for Māori Television this morning as the indigenous broadcaster officially changed its name to Whakaata Maori in an early morning service today at its East Tamaki premises.
Tāhuhu rangapū (CEO) Shane Taurima says, with the evaluation of digital platforms it was only natural that the name television changed to accommodate multiple platforms.
" We are taking a name that better reflects our television services and the mahi that we do."
He says if the name is Māori, so is the vision, the strategy and the way forward.
The service opened up with a karakia led by Rahui Papa - spokesman for Kīngi Tūheitia and Ngāti Whātua representative, Renata Blair. The illuminated sign was unveiled by Te Puhi Ariki Ngawaihonoitepo Paki who came on behalf of Te Kīngitanga.
The ceremony included a beautiful performance by Ngā Puna o Waiorea (Western Springs College.
The ceremony was not without a small disruption. Through the melodious voice of the kapa, the sound of fire alarms blended with the sound of the group.
Wena Harawira, kāhuhu kawe kūrongo (Head of News and Current Affairs) said, " I thought it was the sound effects from the kapa haka group. It was weirdly harmonic."
Since the inception of Whakaata Māori 18 years ago, the channel has been dedicated to promoting te reo Māori and indigenous cultures around the world. It has aired acclaimed international movies, local TV content in te reo Māori, and current affairs, including the awarding-winning news show Te Ao with Moana.
Oriwa Atkins, who started at Whakaata Māori this year as a cadet reporter, says the day made her excited to start a career at the indigenous channel.
'It's a great day to be Māori." she says. "I feel proud to be a part of this kaupapa and excited for the future at Whakaata Māori."
'Nō tātou tēnei ingoa' says Taurima.