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Crown Appointed Directors For Maori TV Service

19 September 2001 Media Statement

The Minister of Finance, Hon Michael Cullen and the Minister of Maori Affairs, Hon Parekura Horomia announced the appointment of the Crown's three directors for the interim board of the Maori Television Service today.

Dr Cullen said today's announcement is the second significant milestone in the process to establish the Maori television service.

"The first milestone was the announcement of the service in July. Now that the board is appointed, it must set up the service. This includes appointing an interim chief executive, setting up transmission and broadcasting arrangements and the programming format. The next step will be to introduce legislation into the House, expected to be next month. The fourth milestone will be achieved when the service goes on-air mid next year."

Mr Horomia said the government considered many names for the role of interim directors before settling on the final selection of Maori broadcaster Derek Fox, company director Wayne Brown and journalist and project editor Wena Tait. (CV details attached).

"The new directors will bring strong industry skills, strong governance and commercial background and, just as importantly, strong Maori credibility too. We are confident that they will complement the Electoral College appointed directors Whaimutu Dewes, Hekia Parata, Craig Soper and Joanna Paul."

Mr Horomia said it is important to ensure that the service gets the best start possible.

"The new boardmembers are aware of the intense interest in the new television service. Progress will be watched closely by many, supporter and detractors, because of the funding dedicated to Maori television programming and the unsuccessful Aotearoa TV venture."

The task of selecting a chair of the interim Board was delegated to Ministers Cullen and Horomia and the chair of the Electoral College, Hone Harawira. They jointly announced that the board will be chaired by Derek Fox.

"I have always maintained that we need the best people for the job, regardless of who they are, or their political leanings. I cannot speak highly enough of the seven directors who have accepted the challenge of setting up this Maori television service. It will not be easy but I am absolutely confident that they are up to the task," said Mr Horomia.

Mr Horomia paid tribute to the Electoral College, who were prepared to participate in a completely new process to appoint the board of directors.

"The principle of dual accountability to create the governance and management processes in this case worked extremely well because both sides were genuinely committed to positive and meaningful negotiations. I look forward to working with the Electoral College to identify other areas in which we can establish similar models of dual accountability, particularly in the area of Mäori language and resources development."


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