Wellington, July 26 NZPA - Maori Television will launch a second channel next year, broadcasting for three hours a night in te reo Maori.
Maori Television's chief executive Jim Mather and the Minister of Maori Affairs, Parekura Horomia, announced the new channel today.
It will transmit through the Freeview digital platform between 7.30pm and 10.30pm and will be free of advertising.
Mr Horomia said the second channel would enable Maori Television to enhance the services it delivered to fluent Maori speakers and learners of te reo, without compromising its statutory requirements to promote te reo and tikanga Maori in both English and Maori languages to a broad audience.
"There will be no decrease in the amount of Maori language programming on the first channel -- in fact over time the creation of programmes for the second channel is expected to increase the Maori language content of the first channel," Mr Horomia said.
He said the second channel was a key component of Maori Television's digital strategy and would ensure a continuing Maori language presence in the digital environment.
"Digital technologies are likely to result in more new channels in New Zealand and, without a dedicated Maori digital television service, there is the potential for a diminished presence of Maori language and culture in the lives of all New Zealanders," he said.
The May budget allocated funds for Maori Television to launch a second channel using digital technology.
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