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Heads Should Roll Over Botched MaoriTV Appointment

29 April 2002

Heads must roll over the botched appointment of the Maori TV service chief executive, says National's Broadcasting Spokesperson, Katherine Rich. "This board appointed a chief executive to run a Maori TV channel who had never worked in television or been involved in Maoridom, can't speak the Maori language and didn't have the qualifications and credentials he claimed too.

"Derek Fox and his board are responsible for this botch up but this Government won't sack him because he would then pose a threat to them by trying to get his political party off the ground.

"The taxpayer deserves to know exactly what were the "robust and correct" processes used by the Board in appointing John Davy and what the recruitment firm actually did for their $40,000 - $60,000 fee.

"Derek Fox defended this appointment. Common sense would suggest that checking whether or not a University exists would be fundamental. The fact that some Board members had not met the successful candidate or seen his CV before his "unanimous" appointment is sloppy governance at its worst.

"This is a Government and Board blunder so monumental that it's likely to plague the entire establishment of Maori Television. Helen Clark can blame the recruitment agency but she knows the Board and the Government are responsible for their decisions - that's what governance is all about. "Derek Fox isn't paid big directors fees to then blame others when things go wrong. Board chairs and members are paid to carry this sort of responsibility.

"There is more than egg on Government faces here, there is an entire omelette. "If heads don't roll over this and by heads, I mean the Board and the Chair, New Zealanders will be extremely resentful at more millions being spent on Maori Television - a channel likely to be watched by fewer than 3% of New Zealanders," said Mrs Rich.


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