Revitalising Te Reo Māori through radio: Ngato’s work
Written by Ngato-Zharnaye Livingstone
Location: Whangārei, Northland
Job title: Production Assistant at Ngāti Hine FM
“I love my job because not only am I able to gain valuable administrative skills that aid in the revitalisation of Reo Māori for my iwi, Ngāti Hine, but everyone also lets me eat their food they bring into work! :)”
Ngāti Hine FM is one of 21 iwi radio stations across Aotearoa that all share the goal of revitalising Te Reo Māori across iwi and hāpu through radio. Ngato-Zharnaye, 21 was lucky enough to land a job in their Whangārei-based office over the summer. This is what she had to say about working there:
Shooting rubbish from the wall to the rubbish bin on the far side of the room isn’t all we do in this open-plan office at Ngāti Hine FM. You can also expect a couple of gats to come out for a random waiata sesh or someone to turn an unexpected sneeze into an even more unexpected haka sesh. But in all seriousness, we produce over ten on-air and online shows daily that are etched with our Ngāti Hine reo and broadcast across our rohe of Ngāti Hine and wider Ngāpuhi.
Each show is done primarily in Te Reo Māori, with its target audience ages 18 to 74. We have a variety of shows that range from showcasing marae to tamariki responding to pūrakau. We also have shows hosted and curated by rangatahi where they interview other rangatahi, showcase their favourite tunes or even korero about Kapa Haka pieces. Ākina is a show catered explicitly for rangatahi of 16-24 years that explores techniques and tools for rangatahi to use during their everyday lives. Its host is 23-year old Maru Henare and co-hosted by Glen Waru.
My role here is as a Production Assistant with a core focus on handling the contracts and advertisements due to play on-air. This mahi is super new to me and when I first started working here, I thought I’d get chucked in the deep end and given stacks full of work, but it wasn’t the case at all. This role has enabled me to develop core admin skills such as being well-organised, having initiative and being thorough – definitely things I have to give my all to. I’ve also learned to be flexible with work, so if one of our announcers needs an interviewee or a new voice for pānui to be on-air, I get called into the studio to warm up my voice box. The kaimahi answer any questions I have and any nerves are quickly erased by an “It’s all good eah”.
All the kaimahi supported me being here and the environment is so Māori – we come to work early just to have karakia or share our own kai with one another, and everyone is unapologetically themselves, which has enabled me to be unapologetically myself!