The new Māori-language educational television channel, launching tomorrow, will run for at least 10 weeks.
The new service will operate from 9am to 3pm Monday to Friday on Māori Television's Te Reo channel, in parallel with an English-language educational service fronted by Suzy Cato and others on TVNZ's 2+1 channel.
Education Minister Chris Hipkins said last week that the Government had signed contracts with TVNZ and Māori TV for "at least a month at this stage but we have the ability to extend that if we need to".
But Māori TV chief executive Shane Taurima has announced today that the Māori-language educational channel, dubbed Mauri Reo, Mauri Ora, will run "over a 10-week period" from tomorrow, the first day of the new school term.
The extended period, running almost to the scheduled end of the newly-extended 12-week school term on July 3, is a further sign that many students are likely to have to continue learning mainly from home well after the end of the level 4 lockdown.
Taurima said the Te Reo channel content would "include popular educational programmes such as Te Nūtube, Tākaro Tribe and Kia Mau and newly created programmes that support learning in te reo Māori".
"This is an exciting opportunity for us to support our future leaders and promote a new and innovative way of learning from home," he said.
"Mauri Reo, Mauri Ora talks about the life and vitality of our language. The future of our language rests in the hands of our tamariki mokopuna. This initiative supports their learning and the revitalisation of te reo Māori."
Māori TV's director of te reo Dr Hinurewa Poutu said programming would be for kōhanga reo students (preschoolers) from 9am to 11am, for kura kaupapa (primary school) students from 11am to 1.45pm, and for wharekura students (high-schoolers) from 1.45pm to 3pm.
Programmes this week will be mostly re-runs of previous educational series introduced by te reo Māori exponents Te Korou Whangataua, Juneea Amohia Silbery and Ani-Piki Tuari.
"The presenters will be introducing the programmes, encouraging tamariki to look out for certain learning outcomes, and then reflecting on the programmes and asking questions that relate to what they have just watched," she said.
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Two new programmes will also start this week - a fitness programme and a music programme.
Maimoa Music, a collective of Māori musicians, will launch another musical programme next week that will encourage high-school-aged students to compose and perform their own music.
Other new programmes in maths, science and other subject areas will also start next week.
"We've had a huge team working over Easter," Poutu said.
"We have one team who have been working through all our existing libraries pulling out the shows that support learning outcomes, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, and a team of experts who are pulling out the key learning messages from that existing content for our presenters.
"And we've got a production team who are reaching out to producers who, with the lockdown, are all at home."
The three producers include West Auckland couple Te Korou Whangataua and Juneea Amohia Silbery, who both teach part-time at Te Wharekura o Hoani Waititi in Henderson and have a daughter at Te Kōhanga Reo o Hoani Waititi.
Whangataua (Ngāti Kahungunu, Rangitāne, Ngā Puhi, Ngāti Porou, Ngāi Tahu) attended kōhanga reo and kura kaupapa in the Wairarapa before moving to Auckland, where he studied te reo to an advanced level at Te Panekiretanga o Te Reo Māori, an academy founded by Sir Timoti Karetu and Dr Wharehuia Milroy which closed after Milroy's death last year.
Whangataua translated the Kings song "Kei aro atu koe" Don't worry bout it – which featured in the 2019 Waiata Anthems.
He is translating the Marvel comics for the Kotahi Rau Pukapuka Trust.
Silbery (Te Rarawa, Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Maniapoto) also attended kōhanga reo, kura kaupapa Māori, wharekura, wānanga and Te Panekiretanga o Te Reo Māori, earning a masters degree in Mātauranga Māori at the age of 20.
She also teaches at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa and is the Pou Whakahaere Kaupapa Reo at Māori Television, responsible for leading the service's Māori language activities.
She began her media experience as a student at Te Wharekura o Māngere, which was followed by a variety of production roles as a coordinator, manager and language advisor.
The other presenter Ani-Piki Tuari (Takitimu, Horouta, Mataatua) is a film and television director, music producer, Te Reo Māori consultant, translator, voiceover artist, and teacher.
She is directing the second web series of Punarau Media's Living by the Stars with Professor Rangi Mataamua, Great Southern Film and Television's second series of My Māori Midwife and is a senior director for Scottie Douglas' documentary series Waka Huia.
She was recently awarded Best Māori Traditional Album, Best Māori Pop Album and Best Song of the Year for producing Te Kākāno, a compilation of various artists' music, at the 2019 Māori Music Awards.