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Dover Samuels Accused Of Media Meddling

Maori Party 18 August 2005

Dover Samuels Accused Of Media Meddling

Tariana Turia and Dr Pita Sharples, Co-leader,

Further investigations today into the actions of Labour MP Dover Samuels, regarding pressure brought to bear on the Maori Television Service have revealed a disturbing level of political interference into Maori broadcasting.

"This is an extremely serious case of political interference" stated Tariana Turia, co-leader of the Maori Party.

"Mr Samuels has cast a slur on the professionalism and neutrality of the Maori Television Service, in stating that their polls have "no credibility" and alleging that MTS is loaded with Maori Party supporters who have somehow 'skewed' the results.

"In transcripts received today, Mr Samuels has made a public attack on the supposed bias of MTS reporters" stated Mrs Turia.

"Dover Samuels is known for his inappropriate behaviour" stated Mrs Turia, 'but bullying the media about the way in which they report the news is a blatant example of political interference.

"The real issue here is that the Maori Party is news" stated Dr Sharples, co-leader of the Maori Party. "Maori Television is carrying out its professional responsibility to report on any events or organisations which are newsworthy. The evolution of our movement is a phenomenon which is certainly worthy of national news attention and that is all that MTS has done in faithfully reporting the news".

"Earlier today I met with the Chief Executive of the Maori Television Service, and accepted his gracious apology on behalf of the Maori Party" said Dr Sharples. "I understand that the Chief Executive was going to meet with Maori television staff and offer a personal apology for what he clearly saw as an inappropriate response to the political bullying that went on".

"Fresh information has revealed that Mr Samuels has made it clear that support for Maori Broadcasting from Labour is a "two way street", in that government support for Maori broadcasting is dependent on Maori broadcasting giving their vote to Labour.

"We see this as political harassment of the very worst kind, and to this end, we will be demanding the Prime Minister seek the resignation of Dover Samuels. I am sure the Prime Minister will be only too pleased to receive it."

Transcript from Dover Samuels interview on radio

"The polls that have come out from the Maori Television Service have no credibility whatsover. Unfortunately MTS is loaded with a lot of Maori Party supporters and they tend to skew some of the poll results"

Later in that interview,

"You would think that after listening to some of the reporters, and some of their skewed and unbalanced reporting' that they were members of the Maori Party and in fact that's what's happened, some of them are".

And there's a wider debate now going on in terms of the professional ah attitude, or the professionalism of many of these journalists that work for Maori television".

Ruia Mai; Programme; Poutama, 5 August 2005

DOVER SAMUELS

"and of course the whole issue of Maori broadcasting has bought a lot of flack politically. We're not gonna resolve from that, we believe in fact that te reo and the Maori culture are an intrinsic part of the fabric of this nation, we will support it, but at the same time we expect support back for...a two way street, we expect support back from our people and we will continue to support Maori broadcasting and the appropriate funding

(SHANE TAURIMA) ...you're saying in that line therefore that you'll continue to support these Maori initiatives like Maori broadcasting, like Maori TV, and I daresay Maori radio, as long as Maori continue to support you?

(DOVER SAMUELS) Absolutely, this is politics. We've got a political agenda here. Nevermind about the humbug and the weasel words that people tell ya.

ENDS

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