Sport | Sky Sport

‘Not a win for the All Blacks but it was a win for te reo Māori’

Nearly 100,000 people tuned into the te reo commentary of the Rugby World Cup, across Sky Sport and Sky Sport Now.

Listeners were graced by the smooth-talking voices of a social media star and reo exponent Te Ao Pēwhairangi and Whakaata Māori reporter Tūmamao Harawira.

“It’s a dream come true,” Pēwhairangi says.

“And even though it wasn’t a win for the All Blacks, it was a win for te reo Māori.”

Sky Sport Māori strategy lead Kirstin Te Wao-Edmonds says Pēwhairangi and Harawira were the perfect candidates for this big responsibility.

“They’ve got relationships with Rangiata (Sky) and they’re obviously steeped in Te Ao Māori, and they’ve have the skill sets to bring the humour and the fun that we know our Māori-speaking audiences love.”

Pēwhairangi spent some time as a journalist and presenter for Te Ao Māori News and says he picked up some valuable lessons that carried over nicely to his role as a sportscaster.

“I learnt from working at Whakaata Māori to be relaxed while broadcasting. I’m getting used to it now, and I’m becoming more relaxed as if I’m talking to my mate in the lounge.”

Pēwhairangi is a former student of Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Mana Tamariki and grew up primarily speaking te reo Māori until his late teens. He was told at a young age that te reo Māori would not be useful as an adult but is now living proof that times are changing.

“Āe kua huri te tai. The tide has definitely changed.”

“It’s (te reo) not only for spiritual growth or personal growth but this is a new business venture and a great opportunity for te reo Māora and our people.”