The NZ television industry gathered this week to celebrate the sector’s collective achievements at the New Zealand Television Awards. Māori screen practitioners were nominated and won in many of the 40 categories. 

It was an extremely proud moment for Māori broadcasting when Mihingārangi Forbes (Ngāti Maniapoto, Ngāti Paoa) took out the coveted award for Best Presenter: News and Current Affairs at the New Zealand Television Awards in Tāmaki Makaurau. She gave a passionate rousing speech.  

Mihingārangi stopped mid speech to receive the heartfelt karanga and haka tautoko that echoed around the room.  She acknowledged the tributes and then immediately paid homage to her forebears stating, “I stand on the shoulders of every Māori broadcaster who stood before me, because this is a real honour as a Māori journalist and a Māori wahine to receive this award.”

Her speech elicited much applause and support from the vocal crowd. She signed off by dedicating her award to wāhine Māori, particularly her two daughters, saying she wanted to show them that, “it’s alright for a Māori woman to bat above her station for Te Tiriti and a place in broadcasting for all of us.” Watch a video of her full speech here 

Stuff interviewed her backstage where she said  “Look, we have a long way to go in broadcasting. We have state broadcasters that don’t share platforms with us, that’s a fight we are up for, and I’m always going to be like that. 

Ngā Aho Whakaari Chair Anahera Higgins (Ngāti Konohi) says, “Mihingārangi is so deserving of this award. Her dedication to bringing our stories, our reo and our tikanga to the mainstream has been acknowledged by her peers which is brilliant. Then she used her opportunity to challenge the fact that we are still not in prime time slots.” Anahera continued, “As Mihi said, ‘We are still in the gang lands of Sunday morning scheduling.’ Me mihi ki a Mihi ka tika. He poho kereru tātau katoa i tēnei wahine toa!” 

Ngā Aho Whakaari acknowledges all the Māori screen practitioners that were nominated and received awards this week. Miriama McDowell (Ngāti Hine, Ngāpuhi) won Best Actress for her role in South Pacific Pictures’ drama series Head High (Three). She effortlessly reminded the room that this show is the first Māori prime time drama since the 1970’s! Her co-star Jayden Daniels won Best Supporting Actor. Ka mau te wehi!  If you haven’t seen this series you can watch it on demand here

Great Southern Television RNZ series NZ Wars – Stories of Waitara won the Te Māngai Paho Best Māori Programme Award, and Waka Huia (Scottie Douglas Productions for TVNZ 1) was named Te Māngai Paho Best Reo Māori Programme. 

Off the Grid with Pio, produced by Scottie Douglas Productions for Māori Television received the award for Best Lifestyle Programme. Pango Productions’ Aotearoa 250  (TVNZ 1) was awarded Best Live Event Coverage. 

See the full list of finalists here: NZTV Awards Finalists & Winners

Images courtesy of the NZTV Awards FB Page