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Programmes such as Police Ten-7, Shortland Street and Game of Two Halves offered a Maori presence that met charter requirements, Television New Zealand chief executive Rick Ellis said today.

Mr Ellis was quizzed today by National MP Georgina te Heuheu on which programmes met TVNZ's charter responsibilities in terms of Maori perspectives.

One of TVNZ's charter objectives is to "ensure in its programmes and programme planning the participation of Maori and the presence of a significant Maori voice".

TVNZ said that 86 per cent of its publicly funded Maori programmes were in te reo Maori.

But mainstream programmes also had a Maori presence, Mr Ellis said.

"Dream Home, Shortland Street, Ten Years Younger, Intrepid Journeys, Location Location, Animal House, Game of Two Halves, Police Ten-7, Charm School, Lost Children, I could go on. There's a large number," he said.

"You wouldn't expect many of these programmes not to have a Maori presence, it's a key part of the diversity of New Zealand," he said.

Mrs te Heuheu said presence was one thing but a Maori perspective was another.

Mr Ellis was asked by Mrs te Heuheu whether TVNZ considered that Shortland Street programmes featuring Maori families fulfilled the Maori perspective requirements under the charter.

"Why not?" Mr Ellis replied.

"It's local content, it's local drama, it's been extraordinarily successful ... and by the way very, very popular with Maori," he said.

New Zealand First MP Pita Paraone said he did not think having comedian Mike King on Game of Two Halves "actually fulfils a Maori content on a programme".

Mr Ellis told the committee that when asked to state their favourite channel, most Maori stated TV2.

He said the Maori programming strategy was under review and would be with the executive in August.

He was also questioned today on why TVNZ did not shift Te Karere to 5.30pm, half an hour before the prime time news.

Mr Ellis said shifting the programme to that slot would result in an estimated revenue loss of up to $2.1 million a year, and also mean fewer viewers in the first segment of the 6pm News.

On average the last five minutes of the programme leading into the 6pm News contributed 55 per cent of the ratings to the first five minutes of the programme.

"With the predicted rating of 1.0 for Te Karere versus 4.0 on average for other programming, TVNZ would expect the carry over audience for the first five minutes of 6pm News to suffer by 75 per cent," TVNZ said.

This meant the ratings for the first five minutes could drop by up to 40 per cent.

TVNZ received $22 million in funding from Te Mangai Paho, NZ on Air and in direct government funding for Maori programming.

He could not say how much TVNZ itself budgeted for Maori programming although promised to supply that figure to the committee.

Mr Ellis said TVNZ also hoped to access a new Te Mangai Paho contestable funding pool of $13m, once the broadcaster's Maori programming strategy was completed.

It aired more than 273 hours of Maori programming in the year to March 31, 86 per cent of which was in te reo.

- NZPA