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Broadcaster Dr Haare Williams in New Year's Honours

Kei te mihi a Ngā Taonga ki a Tākuta Haare Williams o Ngāi Tūhoe, Te Aitanga-a-Māhaki me Rongowhakaata, he kaipāpāho, tangata matatau hoki i whakanuia ki tētehi o ngā Tohu o Aotearoa mō ana āwhina i te Māori, i ngā mahi toi me te mātauranga hoki. E hia kē ana āwhina i te ahurea, i ngā hapori Māori hoki.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision would like to acknowledge Dr Haare Williams (Ngāi Tūhoe, Te Aitanga-a-Māhaki, Rongowhakaata), a veteran broadcaster and academic who was recognised in this year’s New Year’s Honours as a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to Māori, the arts and education. He has made a significant contribution throughout his career to improving social and cultural outcomes for Māori.

Haare has had a long career in radio and television, in particular with Radio New Zealand’s Māori unit, Te Reo o Aotearoa, which he managed. Our Ngā Taonga Kōrero archive of RNZ’s Māori radio programmes contains many titles he produced, including the 1980s English-language series “He Rerenga Kōrero” and the te reo Māori series “Te Reo o te Pīpīwharauroa.” These programmes are a rich source of interviews and kōrero and continue to be listened to and used by iwi Māori and radio programmers today. You can browse and listen to many examples of his radio work online. Some highlights include his coverage of the landmark “Te Māori” exhibition of taonga which returned to New Zealand in 1986, and a 1991 biographical series made with revered Waikato kaumātua Rua Cooper, travelling by boat and recording his stories of the Waikato River as they went.

Of his radio work, fellow broadcaster, the late Hēnare Te Ua said, “Haare brought to the programmes an artistic creativity, painting in words. He broadened the series’ perspectives…no hui or marae opening has been untouched.”

The te reo Māori radio programmes in the Ngā Taonga Kōrero archive are currently the focus of a project by Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision, with support from Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori, The Māori Language Commission. Cataloguing staff and interns fluent in te reo Māori are listening to series such as “Te Reo o te Pīpīwharauroa” and improving their existing descriptions in our online catalogue. This will make them more accessible to te reo Māori speakers and learners wanting to access this valuable resource.

The programmes produced by Haare Williams and others contain interviews and whaikōrero from first language speakers of te reo Māori, as well as examples of regional mita or dialects, which many iwi are researching and reviving. By improving the online descriptions of these programmes, the current project will make it easier for researchers and members of the public to find recordings of their tīpuna and listen to acclaimed orators of the past.

Image Credit: Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision – TVNZ Collection