Te Kohanga Reo's ambitious networking plan, Project Amiorangi, is taking another step from vision to reality this week, with demonstration satellite broadcasts to 16 sites around the country.
Project director Ross Himona describes the week's activities as a way to inform all kohanga reo about the project, demonstrate satellite technology and "practical research" at the same time.
The sites, most of them marae, have been equipped with satellite dishes by Pacfiic Antennas Limited of Whangaparoa. The firm's Byron Evans also helped set up the broadcast with Teleglobe Canada, owner of the source transmission station, and Intelsat, owner of the satellite being used.
Test transmissions of a 25-minute video began on Monday and will continue at 11am daily until Sunday. Himona aims to begin the project with an hour daily of te reo Maori broadcast to all kohanga reo. More programming will be added as required, and Himona aims to onsell surplus satellite capacity to fund the project.
Costs and implementation dates for Project Amiorangi are not yet known.