Last Sunday night I was lucky enough to catch the first episode of a new series on Maori Television, Songs from the Inside (8- 8.30pm time slot). The series is based around four musicians - Anika Moa, Ruia Aperahama, Warren Maxwell, Maisey Rika - who are taken into Arahata and Rimutaka prisons to teach songwriting to prisoners.
I've never visited Arohata prison but I have been to Rimutaka so I was interested to see how authentic this first episode was and to see what kind of attitude and tone the programme had.
All I can say is, if you are interested in genuine storytelling, with its roots on, make time for this programme. Each of the musicians seemed humbled by the experience of meeting and connecting with the inmates, and with the task of helping them, through singing and songwriting, to express themselves and share their personal and collective stories.
Watch and learn.