Māori Television’s service to its publics in an era of digital plenty | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 6, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 2040-4182
  • E-ISSN: 2040-4190



This article discusses New Zealand’s Indigenous media organization, Māori Television, and its relationship to a wider history of public service television provision. Māori Television’s emergence is the result of many years of political struggle by Māori to have the New Zealand government recognize its obligations to the revitalization of Māori language and culture as guaranteed by the 1840 Tiriti o Waitangi/Treaty of Waitangi. Māori Television emerged in 2004, with a second channel Te Reo launched on a digital platform in 2008. While charged with the task of helping to revitalize Indigenous language and culture, Māori Television’s original legislation also required that it appeal to a broad audience. Ten years on, many politicians now regard Māori Television as the de facto public broadcaster in a country where commercial imperatives dominate the media ecology. This article examines the implications of understanding Māori Television within a public service television framework in an era of ‘digital plenty’.


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