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Maori Television needs to be investigated (again)

23rd July 2002

And then there were three - Maori Television needs to be investigated (again)

Serious questions need to be answered over Maori Television after the resignation of a fifth director, the third in just a few weeks, says National's Broadcasting spokesperson Katherine Rich.

"This board has one of the highest turnovers in the public sector. The Minister needs to find out why there is continuing tension between officials and the Board.

"Are the concerns of the Board legitimate, or are the officials simply asking common sense questions? For example, why does a fledgling television channel need to consider swanky digs in the Viaduct Basin with views of the America's Cup? Why does the network need brand-new equipment when there are cheaper alternatives?

"Is this friction a clash between officials wanting to set up a small, smart broadcaster and Board Members wanting to replicate TVNZ? For a channel that will probably be watched by only 1-3% of New Zealanders I hope the expectations of the Board are appropriate.

"MTS Director Craig Soper claims "narrow minded civil servants" are holding up the service, but perhaps the officials are only being justifiably cautious with the expenditure of public funds.

"Until the Minister investigates this matter the public is left with the impression that MTV post-John Davy is still a disaster waiting to happen," said Ms Rich.


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