Ngāi Tahu launches news service

May 24, 2021

Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu has announced the return of an exciting news service – Tahu News, which will relaunch this evening, with a news story airing online every weeknight.

This launch makes Ngāi Tahu the first iwi to have its own dedicated news service. It follows a successful Tahu News pilot season, which aired online during last year’s nationwide lockdown.

One of the key leaders of the kaupapa, Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu Chief Executive Officer Arihia Bennett, says: “During the nationwide lockdown we knew whānau were feeling disconnected from what was happening around our takiwā, so it initially came about as a way of bringing them the stories of interest and significance to them.”

Following the pilot season, which was largely COVID-19 focused, it became clear there was scope for a te ao Māori news provider in Te Waipounamu the South Island. Bennett says the service fills a critical space for news in Aotearoa.

“Without a dedicated Māori media service in Te Waipounamu, Māori news and current affairs can often be quite Te Ika-a-Māui-centric. Tahu News will help to fill this vital gap in the current media landscape.”

“While our whānau is our primary audience, the aim is that all New Zealanders, wherever they are in the world, can stay connected to the issues from within the Ngāi Tahu takiwā.”

The service’s reporters are all Ngāi Tahu whānau members and it will have a strong rangatahi focus.

Julian Wilcox, a veteran of the Aotearoa media industry, has been brought in as Tahu News’ Executive Producer.

Wilcox says: “We have seen the impetus from current news services to rationalise service provision in Te Waipounamu, and centralise services in the North Island. We are looking to cut against the grain and increase coverage of the issues that matter to the iwi and the takiwā and have them broadcast to Aotearoa. You will see stories from across the takiwā, in places like Awarua-Bluff, Murihiku, and Ōtepoti through our reporter Shakayla Andrews-Alapaki.”

“Our aspiration is to grow the pool of Māori, and particularly Ngāi Tahu, working in content creation, development, curation, and presentation. Tahu News will help cement the foundations of that aspiration, so that content from Te Waipounamu, and from Ngāi Tahu, is given greater exposure to national and international audiences.”

Tahu News premieres tonight, Monday 24 May at 7.00pm at and on Facebook.

Tahu News is supported by funding from Te Māngai Pāho.