A Rotorua television production company is set to launch its Maori language documentary series Nga Tangata Taumata Rau - Nga Tamariki O Te Kohu.

The 26-part series by Maui TV Productions exposes viewers to the Tuhoe dialect while learning more about the lifestyle and values of the Ngai Tuhoe people.

"In each episode te reo Maori is spoken in every-day situations whether that be at home or the workplace, it's not solely restricted to places like the marae. The language is very much alive in the home, streets and the lives of the Tuhoe people and it's promoting and uplifting the normalising of te reo Maori," director Reuben Collier said.

"While many believe te reo Maori is a dying language, this is an example of it very much alive."


The series is presented by Mere McLean, a journalist for Maori Television's news programme Te Kaea. The programme was made with funding by Te Mangai Paho and will feature an array of individuals who live in Te Urewera - from Ruatoki, Ruatahuna, Waikaremoana, Waiohau and Waimana.

"We chose Mere for her journalistic skills but primarily her in-depth knowledge of reo and tikanga, and that she is a descendant of Ngai Tuhoe was fitting," Mr Collier said.

"They are people who share amazing stories of their upbringing in Maori communities and Mere exposes us to these hidden taonga, a first-time glimpse for many viewers.

"Even in the many decades to come a new generation will look at this programme's great taonga not just for the language but the lifestyle."

Mr Collier said despite it being "100 per cent" in te reo Maori it would also interest learners of the language, being subtitled.

-Nga Tangata Taumata Rau - Nga Tamariki O Te Kohu first episode will be on Maori Television on Wednesday at 8.30pm.