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Two hugely popular entertainment shows that earned a special place in the hearts of all New Zealanders, HŌMAI TE PAKIPAKI and CODE make their return across two nights, as Whakaata Māori counts down to the 20th anniversary of its first broadcast in 2004.

First, get ready to ‘get your paki on’ when the show that launched a host of stars, HŌMAI TE PAKIPAKI ALL STARS, returns for a two-hour special on Wednesday 27 March at 7.00 PM on Whakaata Māori and MĀORI+

Then, dust off your ‘mean Māori mean’ hoodie and gear up for the return of the ‘OG’s’. Tawera Nikau and Jenny-May Clarkson team up once again to present CODE: THE REUNION, on Thursday 28 March at 7.00 PM on Whakaata Māori and MĀORI+.

Hōmai Te Pakipaki, meaning ‘give a round of applause’, first went to live to air on Friday nights between 2007 – 2015.  Hundreds of hopefuls queued up outside the Newmarket studio to audition or be part of the studio audience.

Back then, they came from all around the motu. They were cooks at the marae, seasoned hunters, lawyers, teachers, builders; hard case characters who all were able to sing the birds out of the trees. There was even one who would go on to become one of the most recognisable faces in Parliament.

HŌMAI TE PAKIPAKI ALL STARS reunites winners, grand finalists and stand out performers from nine years of competition, including Chad Chambers, Francis Tipene and Pikiteora Mura-Hita.

A decade after the last episode of Code aired, Jenny-May Clarkson, and the most famous mullet to ever come out of Rāhui Pōkeka (Huntly), Tawera Nikau, are back in CODE: THE REUNION.

Driven by irreverent humour and a uniquely Māori worldview, Code left in indelible mark on the world of television sports shows in Aotearoa.

In an interview with the NZ Herald ahead of the show’s debut in 2005, Tawera, the ‘King of Mullets’ reckoned that he “never thought I'd do this sort of stuff, but most Maori are part-time actors when you're on the marae and stuff like that anyway.”

CODE: THE REUNION will bring back the crack up contributors and behind-the-scenes heroes who made the magic happen. Along with members of that original team, there’s a posse of current players from various codes to talk sports of the day and what we can look forward to seeing this coming playing season.

Through laughter, nostalgia, and reflection, CODE: THE REUNION pays tribute to an absolute television classic.

And the laughs continue on Whakaata Māori.

8.00 PM: ONLY IN AOTEAROA – The brownest, funniest and smartest sketch comedy on race relations in Aotearoa.

8.30 PM: BLACK COMEDY – The satirical show by Blackfellas continues the unapologetic comedic exploration of what it means to be black in contemporary Australia.