E-Tangata is an online Sunday magazine run by the Mana Trust, which is dedicated to building a stronger Māori and Pacific presence in the New Zealand media.
The website is not-for-profit and is largely a labour of love by a part-time team of accomplished journalists and writers who want to see, throughout the mainstream media, a more balanced and better informed reflection of New Zealand lives and issues.
We’re doing our part by specialising in stories that get to the heart of what it means to be Māori or Pacific in Aotearoa.
Although E-Tangata was launched in late 2014, our whakapapa goes back to 1980, when Gary Wilson, E-T’s co-founder and co-editor, ran the first of a series of practical, five-day introductory journalism courses for Māori and Pasifika students.
That series, which carried on through much of the 1980s, was backed by the New Zealand Journalists Training Board and the Department of Māori and Pacific Island Affairs, after a national survey showed that less than two percent of Kiwi journalists were Māori or Pacific Islanders. In other words, the industry was seriously white.
The goal of the courses was to make the journalism industry much browner — and better able to cover Māori and Pacific issues fairly and accurately.
Those introductory courses gave more than 200 students a taste of journalism — and led to more than 50 finding their way into television (like Mike McRoberts, Susana Lei’ataua, and Maramena Roderick) or radio (such as Niva Retimanu, Gideon Porter, and Sefita Hao’uli) or print (Nui Te Koha, Lois Turei, and Tapu Misa).
Then, in the early 1990s, Derek Fox, Piripi Whaanga, and Gary set up Mana Māori Media, which began feeding radio news and current affairs stories — in reo Māori and reo Pākehā — to RNZ and to the network of iwi stations. It also launched and, for 10 years, published Mana magazine, which, at its height, had 150,000 readers.
That partnership came to an end in 2004.
But by that time, the Mana Trust had been set up as a charitable organisation with the aim of helping strengthen the Māori and Pacific voices in the media. The Tindall Foundation lent a generous hand to that kaupapa, as it has continued to do.
The trust was chaired by the late Nin Tomas, an associate professor of law at Auckland University — and the other trustees were two senior journalists, Wena Harawira and Tapu Misa, and Maureen Wilson, a significant figure in education. Judy McGregor, a former newspaper editor, media professor, and EEO Commissioner, helped out as an advisory trustee.
After a flurry of projects in the first few years, the trust lay low for a time, before returning to the fray in 2012, with Stacey Morrison, Tapu, and Gary as trustees, and, a little later, Dale Husband as well.
Late in 2014, again with the backing of The Tindall Foundation, the trust embarked on this E-Tangata website project.
OUR FRIENDS AND SUPPORTERS
E-Tangata wouldn’t be here without the generosity of its friends and supporters.
The Tindall Foundation funded the launch of the E-Tangata website at the end of 2014, and since then has provided a strong foundation for us to build on by supporting us for a further three years (ending in May 2019).
Koha: We’ve been blessed to have many generous friends and kindred spirits who’ve supported the cause by way of koha columns, professional advice, second-hand furniture, and even cash.
Radio Waatea and E-Tangata are longtime friends and continue to support each other’s kaupapa.
Our readers: E-Tangata was among the first journalism websites to sign up to PressPatron, a New Zealand crowdfunding platform that makes it easy for readers to support websites like ours with regular and one-off contributions. Currently, we have 77 contributors who give every month to E-Tangata. If you’d like to join them in supporting E-Tangata’s kaupapa, just click the ‘Become a supporter’ button at either the bottom or top of the page.
In the 1980s, Gary ran the introductory journalism courses that helped to steer scores of Māori & PIs into journalism. Gary’s journalism career began more than 60 years ago. He’s worked for the Auckland Star and NZ Herald, taught English at St Stephen’s School (in the ’60s), and been a journalism tutor at the Auckland Technical Institute (now AUT). In 1990, he co-founded and then ran Mana Māori Media, which produced Māori news & current affairs for RNZ and iwi radio stations. It also created Mana magazine, which Gary edited for more than 10 years.
Tapu was born in Samoa and grew up in Porirua, Wellington. She became a journalist after going to one of Gary Wilson’s introductory journalism courses, in Wellington, in 1980. He put in a good word for her at the Wellington Polytechnic journalism course, and then at the New Zealand Herald, in 1982. Tapu has worked for a number of magazines, including North & South, and for Mana Māori Media, where she also wrote for Mana. She was a Herald columnist for 11 years, and served on the Broadcasting Standards Authority from 2002 to 2010.
Erana (Te Uri o Hau, Ngāti Whātua, Te Rarawa, Ngāti Pikiao) is boss of the website. A technical tutu and award-winning artist, she has recently returned to her kāinga tūturu on the Kaipara Harbour, where she lives off-grid in the small coastal town of Tinopai with her husband, kids, dog, and chickens. Before then, she’d spent more than 25 years in broadcasting and media production for radio, TV, magazine, newspaper, and website development, both nationally and internationally.
Hannah organises and researches our interviews from Aria in the King Country, where she lives with her whānau. She has a degree in media arts majoring in communications, a diploma in journalism, and a certificate in photography. Hannah was a researcher for Eye to Eye with Willie Jackson and worked at Radio Waatea as a journalist and breakfast show producer. Hannah is Ngāti Maniapoto, Waiora hapū, with aromatic top notes of English-Irish origin and a crisp full-bodied floral base of American-Hungarian from her mum.