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MaoriNow, the ‘Netflix for Maori Content’ launches today

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The pioneering, Rotorua-based media production duo behind some of New Zealand’s highest quality Māori digital programming has just launched ‘ MāoriNow’, a Māori content-led, free, on-demand digital platform.

Kristin Ross (Ngāti Kahu, Ngāti Tara) and Hōhepa Tuahine (Te Arawa, TÅ«hoe), who created Pipi Mā, the world’s first Maori speaking children’s dolls, as well as the popular ‘Living by the Stars’ and ‘Beyond Matariki’ series (presented by renowned Professor Rangi Matamua), have announced today’s launch of a free Maori content platform, aimed at rangatahi (youth) and those interested in high quality, te reo-led programming.

MāoriNow (accessible via and on the App Store today, June 4, 2021) offers a range of Māori controlled and owned content, including drama, documentaries, children’s cartoons, and more.

The future of Māori content

Kristin Ross, Co-Founder, says of the innovative new platform: "We are proud to launch an online house for Māori content - you could say it’s the Netflix of Māori content. MāoriNow represents the future for Māori content viewing and engagement, with the aim of empowering young people who are embracing their culture and language, as well as those who want to get high quality Māori content online, on their own terms, and on their own time."

"We developed this platform with young indigenous people wanting to understand about how to be strong Māori in all aspects of the world, at the top of our minds and intentions. There’s a shift happening right now, in the way people - and young people in particular - navigate their place in the world, and how they consume content about that world - and if you can’t feel it, you’re going to be overridden by it."

World class functionality for Māori-owned and controlled content platform

Hohepa Tuahine, Co-Founder, says the MāoriNow platform rivals the best online content platforms in the world, with best-in-class functionality aimed at making the experience fast, seamless and immersive, for users.

Functionality includes:

- Easy, intuitive search and navigation

- Fast loading content and streaming / casting capability

- The ability to download content to watch on the go, offline, out of internet range, or on flights.

- Ad-Free viewing for the first six months

- New high quality and fluent content added regularly

- Options for closed caption and English sub-titles for those just starting on their te reo journey.

Tuahine also emphasises that Māori Now will have an explicit focus on Māori controlled and owned stories and perspectives; " MāoriNow champions Māori story telling owned by Māori, created by Māori. MāoriNow puts the power back in the hands of those who have the well-being of Māoridom at the forefront of their decision making with regard to the content that we host, and the content that our people consume.

"Those in the media landscape will be aware of the harm that negative stereotypes can cause for Māori identity, and Māori youth especially. MāoriNow is committed to hosting and supporting content that represents Māori people, stories and culture in a positive light, and celebrates our right to control how we are perceived onscreen for the entire nation - and the world - to see".

For Ross and Tuahine, ensuring that all content on MāoriNow has Māori ownership and control, means that the financial, IP, and cultural decisions, benefits / profits, and authority, sits with tangata whenua.

Ross notes: "There are many New Zealand films and programmes that are centred around Māori stories, likeness, attributes, language or worldview. What many people do not know, is that the majority of these films and shows are owned and controlled by non-Māori."

Creative hub for Māori producers and content creators

MāoriNow will also be a creative broadcasting hub for Māori producers and content creators who are looking for a home for their stories.

Ross says, "If you are a Māori producer or content creator, we’d love to hear from you. This includes creators and producers with archival programming or those with new show ideas that are currently looking for - or planning to apply for - funding. If you want your creative content to live, and you want it to live on your terms, and to work with like-minded, values and culture-driven professionals, then MāoriNow is the platform for you."

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