Maori Television’s hot new youth show MATATAHI premieres on Saturday December 1 at 5.30 PM.

Fast-paced, irreverent and funny, MATATAHI is a youth magazine show that looks outside the square for its stories, serving up serious insights into the life of our youth with a healthy side helping of humour and with plenty of appeal for the under thirties. Where else would you find Melbourne’s notorious gangster Chopper Reid dishing out advice to the youth of Aotearoa?

Helmed by Kara Rickard – formerly of COAST – and featuring the faces of many of our top celebrities, MATATAHI is a youth show that not only delivers, it steps up to the plate and knocks the ball out of the park!

Kara grew up in Raglan where she was educated at Raglan Area School’s bilingual unit, in her Dad’s karate dojo, and by her grandmother, Maori rights crusader Eva Rickard. In 2003, Kara became the fourth Kyokushin Karate black belt in her whanau. That same year, she completed a Bachelor of Social Sciences at Waikato University before relocating to Auckland in 2004.

Kara has worked at numerous and varied jobs – but it was a position doubling as production co-ordinator and reo Maori consultant for Auckland television production company Butobase that finally lured her from the beach to the big smoke. She was not, however, destined to stay behind the scenes for long.

MATATAHI is produced by Auckland-based Butobase and producer Julia Parnell says it is a show with a difference and an edge.

“Basically, growing up is not easy but most shows aimed at youth make life look simple and it’s not,” Julia says. “That’s why we’ve made this show. We have all the usual stuff: a hot presenter, funky graphics and word from the street but this show is alternative and full of surprises.”

So tune in, turn on and set aside half an hour to share a few laughs with the MATATAHI crew as they deliver a half-hour of intelligent, funny and ever-so-slightly twisted television for the nation’s youth.

SOUND AND MUSIC – Saturday December 1 2007 at 5.30 PM: See how to create a song from the sounds of the street; explore the rights of musicians; and find out what it takes to sing opera.

SEX AND ROMANCE – Saturday December 8 2007 at 5.30 PM: Sex and romance – they are key ingredients to life but who’s talking about it? The MATATAHI team takes a light-hearted look at our love lives.

MEDIA AND NEW TECHNOLOGY – Saturday December 15 2007 at 5.30 PM: With a rapidly changing world due in no small part to the advent of new technology, MATATAHI takes a close look at how to utilise new media developments and how to protect yourself from the prying eyes of a surveillance society.

SPEED AND EXTREME – Saturday December 22 2007 at 5.30 PM: Looks at the increasing speed of life in the 21st century; plus Anika Moa faces the fear as she plunges from a plane; and check out the thrills and spills of wheelchair basketball.

HEALTH AND ALTERNATIVE LIFESTYLES – Saturday December 29 2007 at 5.30 PM: Special guest Komikal becomes a Hare Krishna for a day of celebration; MATATAHI heads to Papua New Guinea with Greenpeace activist Tia Taurere; and hear the moving story of Zara Tai – a young woman who lost a leg but refused to lose her positive attitude.

FASHION AND POP CULTURE – Saturday January 5 2008 at 5.30 PM: King of pop Frankie Stevens talks fashion through the ages; MATATAHI challenges some of our top student designers to create an outfit in six hours; and join John Chong Nee on the set of his new music video as he takes up the role of director for the first time.

BUSINESS AND FINANCE – Saturday January 12 2008 at 5.30 PM: Media stars Aroha Hathaway and Brent Mio face off in a hilarious challenge – make it across Auckland with no money. Learn the ins and outs of business with Nesian Mystik’s Awanui Reeder; and unearth a finance company commercial that never made it to air.

IDENTITY – Saturday January 19 2008 at 5.30 PM: The final episode looks at our identity as Maori; speaks to artists John Tootil and Warren Beazley about how they express their identity through their work; and features a race between races as four competitors from around the world face off in a battle of intellectual, physical and culinary endurance.

Fast-paced, funky and fun-filled, MATATAHI premieres on Maori Television Saturday December 1 at 5.30 PM.