NATIVE AFFAIRS, Maori Television’s prime-time current affairs show, has won the Aotearoa Film and Television Award (AFTA) for best current affairs series.
The live one-hour show was up against tough competition from mainstream media programmes, TVNZ’s Sunday and TV3’s 60 Minutes for the honour.
It has been a big year for NATIVE AFFAIRS, which made two special programmes from Christchurch after the February earthquake and is currently producing its election series, NATIVE AFFAIRS – KOWHIRI 11.
But it was the 25 July episode that impressed AFTA judges for its in-depth reporting of current affairs.
The episode included exclusive interviews with the family of Antony Ratahi, who was shot dead by police the week before, and Destiny Church co-founder Hannah Tamaki following the controversy surrounding her bid to head the Maori Women’s Welfare League.
The same episode also featured an in-depth investigation into the Kaipara iwi Te Uriohau and their fight to stop New Zealand power company, Crest Energy, from putting in 200 turbines at the mouth of the Kaipara Harbour.
Maori Television’s general manager of news and current affairs Te Anga Nathan says the episode was particularly strong for the series, which makes 35 one hour programmes each year.
“We are humbled to have won. It’s a great honour for Maori Television and a significant achievement for Maori journalism,” Mr Nathan said.
“We have been finalists three times for the past five years so we have had consistent acknowledgement of our work but this time we’ve gone one better.”
NATIVE AFFAIRS was also a finalist for the Maori Language Commission/Te Mangai Paho Best Maori Language Programme for its coverage of the funeral of Dame Katerina Te Heikoko Mataira in July.
Maori Television CEO Jim Mather says he is delighted with the network’s success.
“It’s great for our News and Current Affairs department to be recognised for the work it does in covering events of interest to all New Zealanders.
“It’s a remarkable achievement for an indigenous broadcaster and I don’t think it’s paralleled anywhere else in the world.”
Maori Television programmes picked up four additional awards across several categories at the AFTA awards ceremony at Auckland’s Viaduct Events Centre last night.
E TU KAHIKATEA won the Best Maori Language Programme, KAITANGATA TWITCH won the award for Best Children’s/Youth Programme and WHARE MAORI (Ep 1) took out the award for Best Information Programme. Maori Television’s RISE UP
CHRISTCHURCH – GLOBAL TELETHON won the Kordia Best Multi-Cam Broadcast award.