22 Feb 2013

New Zealand's leading online indigenous lifestyle magazine, TŪ MAI, has ceased publishing.

Since its launch at Te Papa Tongarewa in 1999, the magazine has captured and showcased an impressive decade of contemporary Māori.

Founder and Editor, Ata Te Kanawa, says that as well as the difficulties of keeping a publishing business afloat in the current economic climate, her interests in other areas have intensified and demanded more time, resources and energy. "I'm really chuffed at what I have achieved which was a commitment to portray a contemporary perspective on Māori issues that differed to that conveyed in mainstream media - but the juggling act of Tū Mai and other interests can no longer continue."

Tū Mai relocated from Hamilton to Wellington in 2008; after 114 editions in a glossy hard copy format, the decision was made to go entirely digital in 2010. Te Kanawa says the online move was inevitable as the recession had set in and printing costs continued to rise. Interestingly, Te Kanawa says her readers had no problems with the switch from hard copy to online format but some advertising agencies could not accept Tū Mai's Māori readership were internet literate. "I reminded one agency staff member that the internet arrived on earth at the same time for all of us - not 1840 when the Treaty of Waitangi was signed."

Currently an external Communications Contractor for Pharmac, Te Kanawa is also building on the Miromoda brand, a business to capitalise on Māori uniqueness in the fashion industry. The annual national Miromoda competition selects up to eight Māori fashion designers to show at NZ Fashion Week. She is also a trustee for TIKI - the entity charged with managing "Toi Iho", the Māori trademark of quality and authenticity launched under the auspices of Creative NZ in 2002.

For more information contact Ata Te Kanawa, phone: 04 4730557, mobile: 027 5543382, email: ata@tumai.co.nz