Cultural Collections: Māori Television full back-catalogue now available

From storage to streaming: our Maori TV physical recordings archive

From storage to streaming: our Māori TV recordings archive

This summer, we’re taking you behind the scenes to see the work that goes into caring for our Cultural Collections and giving you access to them. This is the third of four stories.

The complete back-catalogue of Māori Television from the 2000s is now available for staff and students within our TV and Radio streaming service. This draws to a close a significant Media Services digital migration project.

Valuable contemporary te reo Māori resource

Locally-produced programmes in te reo Māori include language lessons, kapa haka, news, current affairs, music, iwi histories and documentaries. International material includes films, documentaries and children’s programmes, some of which were dubbed into te reo Māori as language learning resources. The context, variety and modern use of te reo makes this a unique and significant body of material. It reflects Māori Television’s aim of “… inclusivity – building a connection to Māori culture for all New Zealanders”.1 The channel is only 15 years old, so this is contemporary history told largely in te reo Māori, and which does not exist anywhere else.

Long-running project

Te Tumu Herenga began recording Māori Television on to DVDs in four-six-hour blocks from the channel’s first transmission on 28 March 2004 and continued up until 28 December 2009. After that date, the digital broadcast files were captured directly to storage servers.

During the project, we migrated the block recordings from 3,242 DVDs and split them into 21,472 individual programmes covering the broadcasts from 2004-2009. We matched these up with programme information (based on TV listings) entered by staff into a database, and then created streaming access copies. This content was made available progressively throughout the project, and on 27 November 2019 the last batch was uploaded to TV and Radio. The slowest step was entering the schedule data for more than 2,000 days of programming, but thankfully we had expert assistance from colleagues Heather Stickland and Riki-Lee Saua, under the guidance of project lead Paula Dixon.

Search or browse recordings

This rich range of content joins with our ongoing recent recordings to give University of Auckland researchers access to a complete timeline of Māori TV broadcasts.

Search or browse Māori Television programmes within TV and Radio

Media Services, Cultural Collections

1 Māori Television. (n.d.) About Māori Television.

Māori Television Service. (2016). [Homepage image].