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Source: Massey University

The series will feature podcasts, editorial content and events.

Massey University is proud to launch Conversations That Count – Ngā Kōrero Whai Take, a new podcast, editorial and event series delivered in partnership with The Spinoff.

The 2020 theme is centred on ‘Informing Aotearoa’s Future’ and will feature a five-part podcast series hosted by well-known broadcaster, author and lecturer at Te Pūtahi-a-Toi Massey University’s School of Māori Knowledge, Stacey Morrison, Te Arawa, Ngāi Tahu.

Each episode will bring together academics, industry and activist leaders to turn a unique lens on the issues and challenges shaping Aotearoa and te aō whānui. Episodes will be released monthly from early August and supported by quality editorial content. Events are also being planned for the future. The podcast’s theme music was composed by Massey University College of Creative Arts senior lecturer in commercial music composition Grayson Gilmour.

Massey University National Events and Sponsorship Manager Kelly Douglas said it was exciting to be forging the path for the university’s inaugural podcast and multimedia series and to be leading the way on solution-focused thinking for Aotearoa New Zealand.

“There is a desire for trusted information and expert advice and analysis and this is at the heart of this exciting new series,” Miss Douglas said. “Conversations That Count – Ngā Kōrero Whai Take is about showcasing some of Aotearoa’s smartest minds and we hope it will act as a catalyst for New Zealanders to continue the conversations that matter within their communities to help drive change.

“Universities fulfil an important role as critic and conscience of society and this is an innovative way to deliver on this commitment for the benefit of Aotearoa.”

Host Stacey Morrison in studio with guest Justin Latif recording the first episode, due to be released in early August.

Conversations That Count – Ngā Kōrero Whai Take has grown from an event in Wellington and was due to become a national series of events before COVID-19 reached New Zealand.

When the national lockdown took place it was a catalyst to reconsider the entire concept, Miss Douglas said.

“Like so many other organisations and industries, we were faced with physical events ending virtually overnight for an unknown period of time. But this also presented a clear and strong opportunity to do things differently and we are so proud of this collaboration and what we have created.”

Podcasts have been a key part of The Spinoff since its launch in 2015 and today its podcast offerings span everything from food culture to politics. 

The Spinoff Podcast Manager Jane Yee said the company was thrilled to be partnering with Massey University on such an exciting exploration of the form.

“Having access to Massey University’s academic stable – not to mention the considerable talents of host Stacey Morrison – will allow us to shine careful light on a wide range of the issues defining Aotearoa’s future and ultimately help us to drive meaningful, positive change in areas where it’s most necessary,” Ms Yee said.

“The podcast medium will provide genuine depth and intimacy for an audience, and Conversations That Count – Ngā Kōrero Whai Take will give listeners an opportunity to engage deeply with some of the most important subjects shaping our country and hear from some of its most forward-thinking minds.

“Our constantly growing audience listens to our podcasts to be entertained and to challenge their pre-existing views. Our partnership to launch Conversations That Count – Ngā Kōrero Whai Take represents the rare and exciting opportunity to do all those things at the same time.”

Host Stacey Morrison said she was looking forward to bringing together intelligent and passionate people to speak on issues affecting everyone.

“The title says it all really; I wanted to be involved in conversations that give insight to kaupapa that matter. I appreciate the freedom that podcasts give listeners to tune in when they have half an hour spare and I hope these meet the needs of New Zealanders looking for stimulating conversations and perspectives.”

As a Te Tiriti-led university, Massey is committed to enabling the creation of knowledge and championing new strategies for the advancement of integration of te reo Māori and Māori knowledge.

“We are looking forward to bringing a diverse range of experts, voices and perspectives to this series to reflect modern-day Aotearoa and explore who the nation wants to be in the future.”

The first episode will be launched on Wendesday August 5 and be available on The Spinoff, Massey University website and your favourite podcast provider.