Maori Television Election '08 Coverage

New Zealand’s national indigenous broadcaster, Maori Television, will present comprehensive coverage of this year’s General Election from a Maori perspective including tailored research on Maori in the General and Maori electorates.

KOWHIRI ’08 will include a series of 10, one-hour political programmes in the lead-up to the election as well as a live-to-air five-hour election night special on Saturday November 8. The research – to be unveiled on the KOWHIRI ’08 programming – will assess the intentions and influences of Maori voters on the General roll and Maori electorates in the build-up to election night.

Maori Television general manager news and current affairs Te Anga Nathan says the aim is to deliver election coverage in a way that is relevant to Maori and covers all the issues from a Maori perspective. The 10 specials will be co-hosted by Native Affairs presenter Julian Wilcox and Te Kaea political reporter Tina Wickliffe and will include expert commentary from panelists Ms Sandra Lee and Dr Ann Sullivan as well as additional observations by political scientist Dr Maria Bargh and Dr Ranginui Walker.

The first three episodes – on Tuesday October 7, Wednesday October 8 and Tuesday October 14 at 8.30 PM – will focus on Labour, National and the minor parties and their relationship with Maori. The next seven episodes will focus on the Maori electorates – Tamaki Makaurau (Wednesday October 15 at 8.30 PM); Waiariki (Tuesday October 21 at 8.30 PM); Te Tai Hauauru (Wednesday October 22 at 8.30 PM); Te Tai Tokerau (Tuesday October 28 at 8.30 PM); Te Tai Tonga (Wednesday October 29 at 8.30 PM); Hauraki-Waikato (Tuesday November 4 at 8.30 PM); and Ikaroa Rawhiti (Wednesday November 5 at 8.30 PM).

The election night special – presented by Wena Harawira and Julian Wilcox – will go to air on Saturday November 8 at 6.00 PM.

Te Anga Nathan says the research in the Maori electorates will measure the level of support for electoral candidates and political parties, the importance of key issues to voter’s support for candidates and parties, and the extent to which candidates or parties can effectively deliver on those issues. “Voters will also rate the candidates’ qualities or mana on such factors as trust to do the right thing, experience in politics, knowledge of peoples’ needs, and track record on delivering on promises.”

As well as the KOWHIRI ’08 programming, weekly current affairs show Native Affairs will feature pre-election analysis and debate every Monday at 8.00 PM followed by a two-hour post-election special – KOWHIRINGA – on Monday November 10. Complementing the election line-up will be political updates on the daily Maori language news programme Te Kaea at 7.30 PM and repeated with English language subtitles at 11.00 PM.

Maori Television’s coverage of the 2008 General Election – KOWHIRI ’08 – premieres on Tuesday October 7 at 8.30 PM.

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