lightning in night sky







E papa ana te whatitiri…..

E papā ana te whatitiri e hikohiko ana te uira ki runga i ngā tihi o ngā maunga whakahī o te motu, ko Hikurangi maunga tērā me te rirohanga o Tānara Whairiri ki Tawhiti Ngata o Ngāti Porou me te Whānau-a-Apanui ki a Hinenuitepō ki a Ruatepupuke mā. Kua tanuku te tihi o Tongariro I te nunumitanga o Rowley Habib ki a Hinetītama ki a Ngātoroirangi mā. Kua taupoki te waha o Ramarama ki Pukekohe I te wehenga atu o Ross Jennings ki tua o te ārai. Ā, kua whati mai te tara o marama ki runga o Mauao I te matenga ohorere o Matiu Dickson o Te Rangihouhiri o Tūkairangi, me kī e kore te pāpaka o Rangataua e hoki whakamuri. Moe mai rā koutou e ngā pūwherowhero o huia tūrae o huia kaimanawa kia ū koutou ki te takere o te waka o Tamarereti hai tohu whatukura mā ngā mahuetanga iho e takatū tonu ana I te aotūroa nei.

Nā Eruera Morgan

Māori broadcasting has lost yet more of the founders our industry.

Whai Ngata

TVNZ’s former head of Maori and Pacific programming, Whai Ngata, died last week.  At his tangi in Ruatoria he was described as the “Godfather” of Māori broadcasting.

Whai Ngata was a journalist when there were perhaps five in the country.  He, Derek Fox and Purewa Biddle set up Te Karere, coming straight from Radio NZ to set up the bulletin for the day.  It began as 2-minutes long.

Derek Fox told of how their two desks in the middle of the TVNZ  newsroom were like an island, they were the only Māori.  They and others such as Wena Harawira and Erana Keelan Reedy told of the on-going fight for resources and crews.  And then there was the hate mail.  But they had a bulletin to put to air so they just did their jobs.

In 1986, Whai Ngata joined the late Ernie Leonard to establish TVNZ’s Māori Programmes department.

Waka Huia regarded as Whai Ngata’s baby began in 1987, after Ernie Leonard pondered all that would be lost if the planes carrying kaumātua to Te Māori crashed on the way.  Presented completely in te reo Māori, Waka Huia travels across Aotearoa to interview and preserve the knowledge of Māori elders.

At this time Te Karere and Waka Huia were virtually the only Māori heard on New Zealand’s television.

In 1994 Whai Ngata became Head of Māori Programmes responsible for Māori and Pacific programmes.

In the 90s, he completed the English-Māori dictionary begun by his father Hori Mahue Ngata and family. Hori Ngata died on February 1989, before it was completed, but Whai finished it.

In 1993, Ngata’s English–Maori Dictionary was published. It won the Award for Best Non-Fiction Book at the 1994 Montana Book Awards.

In 2007 Whai Ngata was made an Officer of the NZ Order of Merit, for services to broadcasting and television.  His work changed the face of New Zealand broadcasting forever.

Whai Ngata died aged 74 after a long illness and is survived by his mother Mihihara, wife Geraldine, three sons and his beloved mokopuna.

Rore Hapipi Rowley Habib

Rowley Habib (Rore Hapipi) Ngāti Tūwharetoa was of Lebanese and Maori descent.

He became involved in theatre with his friend Don Selwyn.

Rowley Habib was the first Māori to write an original television drama: his 1979 work The Gathering looked at tensions around an elderly woman’s tangi.  He wrote Death of the Land, in 1976, a courtroom drama which sets in conflict opinions about the proposed sale of a block of Māori ancestral land. The 1978 television adaptation of the play includes footage of the 1975 Māori Land March. Habib’s television drama The Protesters won the award for best script at the 1983 NZ Feltex Awards. The cast of The Protesters included Merata Mita, Jim Moriarty, Billy T James and Don Selwyn.

In the field of short story writing, from 1956 to 1971 Habib was a regular contributor to Te Ao Hou The New World, a magazine for Māori.

In 1984, Habib was awarded the Katherine Mansfield Menton Fellowship.  In 2013 Creative NZ awarded him a Ngā Tohu a Tā Kingi Ihaka Te Waka Toi Award in recognition of his lifetime of service to Māori arts,describing his play Death of the Land as a “landmark in the development of Māori theatre.”

Habib died on 3 April 2016.  He leaves behind Birigtte, children Tangimoana, Waimarama and Reremoana, and mokopuna.

Ross Jennings

Prolific New Zealand television producer Ross Jennings died aged 71 the week prior to Whai Ngata and Rowley Habib.

Ross Jennings was in charge of the first New Zealand TV soap opera, Close To Home, and the first local reality television series, Middlemore.

Other programmes he worked on included Police Ten Seven, Country Calendar, Inside Straight, the Mad Dog Gang, and the long running Australian series Prisoner.

Ross Jennings was the mastermind behind some of New Zealand’s biggest shows – Middlemore, Tala Pasifika, Marae DIY,  Police Ten-7.

He directed New Zealand’s first soap, Close to Home, and a host of children’s dramas including Children of Fire Mountain and Under the Mountain.

As Head of Drama TVNZ he met and became friends with Don Selwyn on Mortimers Patch.  Ross produced the first three Ngā Puna drama series.

Years later he developed Maori TV’s annual Anzac broadcasts.
He was in the process of making a reality series for Maori Television which would take a peek behind the curtain of Parliament.

Ross Jennings is survived by his wife Carmel, six children, and five grandchildren.
Matiu Dickson






Matiu Dickson was a senior lecturer at Te Piringa – Faculty of Law at the University of Waikato where he had been working for the past 20 years.

He dedicated much of his life to the teaching of Kaupapa Maori in a legal context. His main interests included legal education, youth advocacy and the the criminal system, resource management and local government law and Māori legal issues.

He was also the Chairperson of Te Runanga o Kirikiriroa , was on the Council of Te Wānanga o Awanuiārangi, Whakatane.

As Tauranga District Councillor,  he chaired the Planning and Environment Committee.

Dickson was one of three negotiators for the Ngāiterangi Treaty Claim.

He was the lead claimant in the Treaty of Waitangi Claim (WAI2100), seeking changes to the local government legislation.

In 2013 he was a judge at the Te Matatini Kapa Haka Festival in Rotorua.

Matiu Dickson was dedicated to kaupapa Māori and has played an integral role in the development of the law faculty at Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato.

He leaves behind his wife Helen, his six children and four mokopuna

Keep yourself and your work mates safe.  It may save their lives and it will definitely save you money and possibly your company.

New laws introduced this month have changed the liability of any work related accidents.   SomeonCamse you work with or hire gets hurt,  injured or even killed you could be liable. has all the latest information on the new Health & Safety regulations.

Every production company, producer and all contractors need to be aware of the new regulations.  The rules impact on everyone. Screensafe are running roadshows.  Please attend.

Ngā Aho Whakaari is negotiating to put together a Health & Safety workshop in association with Māori Television and Te Māngai Pāho.  Meanwhile check these out.

  • Wellington 7.30pm Wednesday 20 April 2016 Hospitality Suite 1st Floor, St James Theatre Courtenay Place
  •  Auckland 7.00pm Thursday 21 April 2016Ellerslie Event Centre Guineas Room 1 Ellerslie Racecourse 80 Ascot Ave, Remuera
  • Queenstown 6.30pm Wednesday 27 April 2016 Matana Room Mercure Queenstown Resort Sainsbury Road,