At the heart of Maori Television’s redesigned website is its mission to revitalise the use of Te Reo in New Zealand. With that in mind the free-to-air broadcaster’s new look site puts an emphasis on its dual-language options. With the press of a button the site changes between English and Maori, although not all the content is yet translated to the latter.
Designed responsively and featuring new artwork by Kiwi artist Shane Hansen, the website looks to make Maori content appealing for a more online population. Chief exec Jim Mather says bringing more Maori content to the web is vital for endearing the language with New Zealanders.
“This is a website that embraces everything Māori Television does and as we head towards our ninth anniversary, it marks a significant development. We are fast becoming a digital multimedia organisation – this is not a standard refresh, it’s a complete overhaul,” he says.
Maori TV’s on demand system is simpler than what’s available on TVNZ and TV3, but it features over a thousand episodes from across Maori TV and the Te Reo channel.
Maori TV says new features include real-time feedback, commenting on news stories and social media integration. StopPress was unable to find the real-time feedback feature after looking through the site.
Maori TV general manager of digital Stephen Smith says the broadcaster is looking to expand its digital content line up by creating web-first shows. The former deputy chief exec of TVNZ says this type of programming generally requires less budget which allows for a quicker turn around. He says the aim is to engage with younger Maori by creating the type of content they might see on YouTube.
“We’re exploring options and are looking for good examples of digital-first content. It’s an opportunity for us to relate to a younger audience on their ground,” he says.
The website was designed by Digital Arts Network and programmed by Catalyst, using Brightcove as the video platform.