Mike McRoberts reveals his hopes for deeply personal documentary Kia Ora Good Evening

He has been on our TV screens for more than two decades, but in a new documentary we're set to see a whole new Mike McRoberts.

Kia Ora, Good Evening follows his journey as he attempts to reclaim a taonga that was lost to his whānau a generation ago - the ability to speak te reo Māori.

McRoberts' story is one of language loss, disconnection, trauma, reconnection and re-awakening. It is set to be broadcast on Tuesday evening via Three and ThreeNow, and he has admitted to feeling some anxiety about what the documentary reveals.

"I'm a little bit nervous. I really am stepping out of my comfort zone," McRoberts told AM host Ryan Bridge on Tuesday morning.

"That comfort zone for me with news is these boundaries you have around being a newsreader, where you're very much the messenger rather than the message. There's no expectation about being emotional or anything like that. 

"That safety net has gone out the window with Kia Ora, Good Evening and I really am laid bare… I had no idea just how deep it was going to be."

McRoberts said there are "a lot of tears" in the "journey of discovery", which he hopes shows how te reo Māori is much more than just a language.

"It's my identity," he said. 

"My father had it literally strapped out of him at school. I grew up being told it was worthless and there was no point in learning it. So you've got this language trauma around it.

"Thank goodness my kids - Ben and Maia who are in the documentary as well - don't have that same kind of emotional baggage which I've carried for most of my life."

The deeply personal documentary is said to unearth a powerful story of connection and what it means to be Māori in contemporary Aotearoa.

"I hope that it resonates with many Māori out there and also with non-Māori as well who can see what it is we go through as Māori to learn our language, and why it's so important."

Kia Ora, Good Evening premieres on Three tonight at 8:40pm.