“Ehara tēnei toa i te toa takitahi, engari he toa takitini”…were the words uttered by Scotty Morrison to welcome Nevak Rogers (Tonga, Rongowhakaata, Te Whanau-a-Āpanui) on behalf of Television New Zealand, into her new role of Commissioning Consultant for Māori and Pacific Programmes on Monday April 23rd.

It was a humble and relaxed affair and one that was well supported by many of the Māori, Pacific and mainstream broadcasting community.  Scotty Morrison addressed the need to work together as a broadcasting community to ensure continued representation and commitment to the Māori language and tikanga in an often challenging mainstream environment.  He assured Nevak that while support from her fellow Māori colleagues in the company was a given, he also commented, that he felt the tide of change and that support was growing in the mainstream broadcast community for the language, and for Māori language programming.

Speaking for Nevak’s family, her uncle Will Illolahia, stated he was proud to witness his niece accept her role at TVNZ, and Nevak herself spoke of the responsibility of the role as one she would not take lightly.

Māori Television accompanied Nevak’s transition to her new role and although it meant losing one of their key senior members to Te Reo Tātaki, Pouroto Ngaropo assured her that if she didn’t like it there, she could simply come home to Māori Television.  He tohu aroha mōna, he ngākau Māori!

TVNZ Director of content, Cate Slater reiterated the company’s delight at Nevak’s appointment and acknowledged Māori Television for their willingness to work together to ensure the transition was smooth for both parties and stated TNVZ is looking forward to potential future collaborations with MTS.  

Many of the people at the gathering had cut their broadcasting teeth in the Māori department in TVNZ under the guidance of the late Ernie Leonard and Whai Ngata and while it can be said there is still deep sadness around no longer having a department within the confines of TVNZ, it was also clear that the Māori and Pacific broadcasting community is still very much alive and well, and this show of strong support was an indication to Nevak and TVNZ that she is not alone.  There is an entire community behind her who not only wish to make programmes but also understand the importance of supporting a very pivotal role in the broadcasting landscape.

Ngā Aho Whakaari would like to wish Nevak all the success in her role at TVNZ and are looking forward to working with her and with Television New Zealand in the future.