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Broadcasting Minister Willie Jackson said the three-year strategy signed off by the Government yesterday will safeguard Māori broadcasting from becoming a future political football.
Jackson has announced that Cabinet had agreed to a three-year plan, which outlines the priorities for the Māori and mainstream media sector.
"I want to ensure that Māori broadcasting continues to thrive and supports the normalising and revitalising of te reo Māori towards the Maihi Karauna goal of one million New Zealanders speaking basic te reo Māori by 2040.
"Regardless of who is in government, this strategy and investment of over $80 million over the past two years will not become a political football," Jackson told the Herald.
"This Government is committed to raising the status of te reo Māori and this helps build our cultural and national identity for all New Zealanders.
"We cannot keep kicking issues like this down the road and let others deal with it. I am grateful that my colleagues agree with the plan and the investment."
Jackson - the most qualified and experienced Broadcasting Minister of recent times - sets out key actions of the strategy that forms the foundation of the plan.
This includes setting clear outcomes and priorities for the sector, improving coordination with the wider public media system, and supporting workforce development.
"This kaupapa is a culmination of several years' work on the future of Māori media," Jackson said.
He also paid tribute to members of the Māori Broadcasting Advisory Panel – Jason Ake, Ella Henry, Nicole Hoey, Annabelle Lee-Mather, Peter Lucas-Jones, Bailey Mackey, and Scotty Morrison.
"We are now in a strong position to grow the workforce, respond to advances in media, and work collaboratively with other agencies, such as Manatū Taonga, to progress this mahi," Jackson said.
Jackson announced a $40 million investment in Budget 2022, to support Māori media to transition to a new public media environment and prepare it to increasingly deliver a fuller range of Māori content.
"Since the Budget announcement, we are in the process of coordinating a coherent Māori and mainstream public media system.
"Positioning Māori media and mainstream public media to work more closely together will ensure the diverse realities of Māori are reflected across a range of platforms", Jackson said.
"For the first time, there's an agreement to fund Māori broadcasting in English."