A proposal for a single Maori media source has been branded as "wrong" by a Hawke's Bay iwi radio station.
The Ministry of Māori Development (Te Puni Kōkiri) released a report last week in which it proposed amalgamating Māori news media into a single entity.
Within Te Ao Pāpāho Māori - He Ara Hou (the Māori Media Sector Options report), Minister for Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta said Covid-19 had led all sectors to re-evaluate their circumstances and assess their sustainability for the future.
"At the heart of these options is an acknowledgement that there was, during 2019, strong support for the need for the Māori media sector to 'shift' and orient the ecosystem for the future," she said.
"The options are about seeing the Māori media sector as an ecosystem – understanding that it has many interconnected parts that need to work together."
The review, which began in 2018, covers Te Māngai Pāho (the Māori broadcasting funding agency), Māori Television and Te Whakaruruhau o Ngā Reo Irirangi Māori which represents 20 iwi radio stations around the country.
Radio Kahungunu operations manager Apikara Brightwell said the proposal of having one Māori media source is "not completely welcomed" by the iwi radio station.
"We're familiar with having one national news source for iwi radio, and often we have contributed to that service with our own regional stories, but to have one media source for all Māori news and current affairs stories is wrong and will affect the diverse range of reporting, views and voices of our people," she said.
"It's like having one political party to represent everyone, which would not an accurate representation of everyone's views and beliefs."
Brightwell added: "It's a sure way of diminishing the industry and its unique voices, dialectal variations and differences, regional views and stories from a range of perspectives."
Radio Kahungunu, broadcasting on 765AM from Wairoa to Wairarapa and on 94.3FM in Hastings and Napier, also streams live on the internet via its website.
Brightwell said the Māori media industry has worked hard to get where it is today despite limitations on funding and resources.
"The idea of the whole Māori media review has been about saving money, instead of investing in technology, resources, innovation, capability and capacity," she said.
The Ngāti Kahungunu radio station has always worked collaboratively with TV, according to Brightwell.
"We are collaborative by nature as we share the same goals and objectives within our own tribal regions and yet we are diverse at the same time," she said.
"Collaboration between radio and TV is fine when it is not forced, it is welcomed but not if that is at the demise of one for the other."
Radio Kahungunu worked with Māori TV throughout lockdown.
"This was the first time radio and TV worked collaboratively, and it was not forced and nor does it need to be," Brightwell said.
"It is certainly helpful that we had the opportunity to work together and we hope that it will continue, we just need to get better at it. But is it absolutely necessary? My answer is no."