Rotorua production house Maui TV Productions has taken out a top prize at the national Maori language awards.

Maui TV Productions has won the Broadcasting - Maori Medium category (Te Ao Papaho - Reo Maori) at 2015 Nga Tohu Reo Maori for their documentary about the Tuhoe people - part of a 26-part series in te reo Maori.

The awards were announced at a function in Napier on Saturday night. Two other Rotorua businesses, Maori Multimedia Ltd and AfterDark Designs Ltd, were finalists in the Digital & ICT category (Hangarau).

Maui TV Productions owner Reuben Collier said the series, called Nga Tangata Taumata Rau - Nga Tamariki O Te Kohu, exposes viewers to the Tuhoe dialect while learning more about the lifestyle and values of the Ngai Tuhoe people.


Mr Collier said he felt "humbled and grateful" when he heard his company's name called out as a winner.

"I acknowledge the people of Tuhoe for allowing us to go into their homes and sharing their stories with us ... For me it is a good acknowledgement for my TV crew who have been working really hard."

He said often television makers came from Auckland, so it was extra special for a Rotorua company to be mentioned.

"Maui started 15 years ago and that's the whole reason we started in Rotorua, to bring television opportunities to grassroots level. After all, the Bay of Plenty is where all the talent and stories of Maoridom is."

The Maori language awards started in 2004 and are about celebrating excellence and long term commitment to te reo Maori.

The award-winning Maui TV crew
* Mere McLean, presenter
* Herewini Waikato, senior camera operator
* Rereahu Collier, drone and GoPro
* Norman Mann, field audio
* Rodney Edwards, documentary editor
* Reuben Collier and Moari Stafford, directors
* Tanya Morrison, executive producer
* Lee Collier, production manager
* Wayne Abbott, programme accountant
* Richard Anaru and Chris Webber, series music
* Audio Mix, Moving Media
* Reuben Collier, producer - Reuben Collier