Māori Radio caters for the whole whanau, providing various functions including community/information, entertainment, and education.
Of particular importance to many listeners is the broadcast of linguistic features unique to their region; dialect and style, words and proverbs, idioms and phrases.
A number of stations overlap allowing access to more than one station. The major determining factor in deciding which station listeners in these areas tune into is tribal affiliation.
Radio personnel identify with their listeners and lifestyles, and are often well known, with local profiles. These factors contribute to stations’ community presence and make them approachable and Māori friendly.
Stations often broadcast live from local marae, hui, and events. Listeners are kept up-to-date with what’s happening in their tribal area, including essential Māori messages, eg: tangihanga, panui, etc.
The majority of Māori Radio listeners are not fluent in Te Reo Māori. Māori Radio, therefore, caters for a range of competency levels and incorporates programming in both Māori and English
The community function of Māori Radio is acknowledged as a major factor for listeners tuning in. This important communication role is often performed exclusively by Māori radio, and in many areas the station is the biggest Māori communication medium.
Māori listeners are passionate about their stations. Many consider the stations to be “life lines” that keep them in touch with the Māori world.