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Possible Political Interference In Maori TV

30 April 2002

Possible Political Interference In Maori TV Concerning

Green Broadcasting Spokesperson Sue Kedgley today said she was concerned at suggestions that the Board of the Maori Television Service would run the Service in the months it would take to reappoint a new CEO.

The Chairman of the Maori Electoral College Hone Harawira today said board members could be required to take on executive roles.

"Three of the seven board members are appointed by Government, and the chair and deputy chair are jointly appointed by Government and the Maori Electoral College," said Ms Kedgley.

"I am therefore concerned at the suggestion that politically appointed directors could run the Maori Television Service. Broadcasting is a member of the fourth estate and as such it is absolutely crucial that its independence from political interference is jealously protected," she said.

"Imagine the reaction if the BCNZ Board stepped in and took over the programming and running of TVNZ for a number of months. There would be an outrage.

"In my view we should be just as concerned about potential political interference in the Maori TV channel as we would be about political interference in TVNZ.

"This is a critical formative period for this fledgling channel and it is important that it is seen to be free from any hint of political interference."

Ends

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