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A taste of home

01 Mar 2010

New Zealand’s own Maori Television Web site, maoritelevision.com, is rapidly shaping up to be not only one of New Zealand’s key sites for indigenous-oriented content, but also one of New Zealand’s busiest Internet portals to the rest of the world.

In fact, the site has benefited so much from a recent revamp that its traffic has trebled in the last year alone. The great news is that much of this fresh traffic is coming from overseas, showing that there is in fact a worldwide interest in on-demand, Maori language content (the site now hosts more than 300 hours of authentic New Zealand shows).

So just what does the site offer? “Content is just hugely important for this type of site,” says Maoritelevision.com’s online manager, Sandy Hodge.

“We knew that this site had to work really well for the user. Most obviously we’ve created a whole new user interface which is just much more user-friendly. Everything is right there, just a click or two away.” 

“One of our strengths is that fact that we own the content on the site, so we can, quite literally, show the world. In this day and age, a lot of content providers are saying ‘you can’t see this, you can’t see that’, and I hate that. And it’s great that that’s not an issue we have to deal with, and a huge advantage. We’ve got 250,000 Maori sitting right there in Australia who can access our content, and the feedback that we’re getting from those expats is really great. They can go to our site and get that feeling of home.”

The Web site’s analytics reveal that it is now receiving traffic from over 188 foreign countries, with Australia making up about 20% of the site’s total online audience.

It is also believed to be New Zealand’s first bilingual site, and is thought to be one of the world’s largest video archives of Maori language content. “And that content is very immediate,” says Hodge.

“For Waitangi Day, we had that material starting to go up [on the site] by 9:30am, so people in Australia and the England can wake up, maybe they’re feeling a bit homesick, and they can get a taste of home.”And there are more improvements to come.

“We’re always thinking, ‘what can we change; what can we do better?’. You just have to always keep on top of it and keep thinking. Keep thinking ‘anything’s possible’.”