The Rotorua Weekender is excited to launch a new dawn in journalism next week.
The community newspaper won New Zealand on Air funding to produce a bilingual news section, Kāhu ki Rotorua, aimed at shining a light on local iwi issues and people.
This section will begin to run from next Friday's edition.
New Zealand on Air, through the Public Interest Journalism Fund, will give $440,000 over two years for a four-page weekly section.
NZME is working with local trust Te Mau Aroha and writer Roimata Mihinui on the project.
The news articles will have versions in te reo and English as a way of connecting Māori content with Māori and other cultures in the Rotorua community.
Stories will be diverse, including, but not limited to, iwi representation on council and politics, iwi developments and initiatives, iwi money and investment, local Māori achieving in their field of work, education and sport, as well as Māori health and education initiatives in the community.
There will be a special focus on rangatahi.
The Rotorua Weekender has an audited readership of 27,000 people, helping to ensure this important content is freely available to thousands of people across Rotorua.
The content will also be published on NZME's digital platforms, including the Rotorua Daily Post and NZ Herald's Kāhu section - giving it huge exposure to an even-wider audience.
Roimata Mihinui, a senior journalist of Te Arawa with 50 years' experience in journalism, says people she has talked to have been blown away by the thought of having a section specifically for and in te reo Māori.
"People have been excited and enthusiastic, and I've had people ringing me up with things to share."
She says the news section will be a special place where people can connect with the heart of Māori in Rotorua.
"I know it's going to be exciting and has never been done before."
She says, "The world is much more accepting and diverse, and this will be my contribution helping our mokopuna aspire to things".
NZME head of cultural partnerships Lois Turei says publishing a bilingual section is an exciting and important milestone for NZME.
"Kāhu ki Rotorua is part of an overall strategy to grow and strengthen Māori journalism. It will elevate and celebrate tangata whenua voices and take a truly te ao Māori approach to storytelling."