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New and familiar faces in anzac 2021 coverage - on Maori television

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

New and familiar faces are joining forces to front Māori Television’s dedicated Anzac Day coverage on Sunday 25 April 2021 from 5.40 AM.

Aircraftman Chanelle-Erica Kuka-O’Brien (Whanganui) and Sergeant Tayma Matoe (Ngāpuhi) are the fresh faces featured in its SISTERS IN ARMS promotional campaign while veteran presenters Julian Wilcox (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti TÅ«wharetoa, Te Arawa) and Wena Harawira (Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāi Te Rangi, Ngāi TÅ«hoe) are reuniting to present the all-day broadcast.

For the 15th year in a row, New Zealand’s flagship indigenous television broadcaster will launch its schedule of programming live from the dawn parade and ceremony at the Auckland War Memorial Museum.

Māori Television’s promotional campaign supports this year’s RSA Poppy Appeal and its theme ‘Service and Sacrifice’ acknowledging both women who serve and who provide support for those serving. SISTERS IN ARMS features young Māori women in the modern military: Aircraftman Kuka-O’Brien and Sergeant Matoe are conscious of the role they are playing in forging pathways for others to follow; both also wear moko kauae or Māori facial tattoo traditionally worn by women.

Aircraftman Kuka-O’Brien - the first Air Force service woman to wear a moko kauae - says its represents her mother, her family and her river, Whanganui. Her message to rangatahi is simple: "When you follow your dreams, you’ll reap the rewards. I am proud and humbled to be setting an example for my siblings; my five-year-old brother says he wants to join the airforce when he’s older!"

Sergeant Matoe says the Anzac Day dawn service is compulsory in her household. "Being able to wear this moko in uniform is even more of a privilege for me. The hope is that I get to be a role model for our rangatahi, especially our young Māori women. This is a pathway for them to follow; just because you are serving in the military shouldn’t stop you from being who you are."

Wilcox reported on Māori Television’s first year of Anzac Day coverage back in 2006 and also co-hosted the broadcast from 2008 to 2014, and again in 2018. He says it is a privilege and a honour to be co-hosting Anzac Day with Harawira in 2021.

"I can still remember Māori Television’s inaugural Anzac Day broadcast in 2006 when Wena and Judy Bailey led the programming and the immense pride I had in reporting on that broadcast, having been just a small part of something that meant so much to so many people. I am really looking forward to working with Wena again - she’s a legend in Aotearoa broadcasting and to be involved with her again is pretty special for me."

Join Māori Television to commemorate those who died serving New Zealand as well as honouring returned and current servicemen and women in a day of remembrance for all New Zealanders - this Sunday April 25 2021 from 5.40 AM.

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