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Funding approved for live telecast of flotilla arrival

Commemoration events marking 250 years since the first sustained onshore meetings between Maori and Europeans will be beamed live from Gisborne to television screens across New Zealand.

NZ on Air yesterday announced funding for four projects, including live coverage of the Tuia 250 ki Turanga festival, “to ensure New Zealanders everywhere can observe this landmark occasion”, and another which embraces “honest discussions about racism in Aotearoa today”.

The funding agency received 11 applications in response to a special request for proposals to mark Tuia 250.

The live coverage on TVNZ 1 will focus on the centrepiece of the Tuia 250 ki Turanga festival, the arrival of a flotilla of vessels in Gisborne that will then embark on a national voyage around New Zealand.

“NZ On Air is proud to be supporting projects that will encourage New Zealanders to reflect on and discuss our dual-heritage and voyaging traditions,” said NZ On Air chief executive Jane Wrightson.

“Navigating the waters of our shared history can be choppy, but we hope that the different perspectives provided in these projects will offer New Zealanders the opportunity to speak openly and honestly about the past and future.”

The Tuia 250 Live, 180-minute broadcast produced by Pango Productions for TVNZ 1 and Maori Television, received up to $591,195 for a live broadcast of the Tuia 250 ki Turanga Festival, presented by John Campbell and Stacey Morrison.

Funding was also approved for “Waka”, six 12-minute productions from Tawera Productions for E Tangata and NZ Herald, focusing on four master carvers building four waka of their traditional style and their part in welcoming the Tuia 250 Flotilla when they arrive at Waitangi.

A multimedia series, “Re: discovering Aotearoa” examining how modern relationships mirror the country’s first meeting of cultures, and After White Guilt, a seven-part web-series telling the stories of New Zealanders who are reflecting on their colonial heritage, and how to take action against racism in Aotearoa, would also be funded.

A further project supported in this round, Loimata – Sweet Tears, is a feature-length documentary that tells the story of master sailor and traditional waka builder Ema Siope and her end-of-life journey to heal her family after systemic abuse.