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Maori Television Fears Confirmed

Maori Television Fears Confirmed


MANA Movement Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau, Hone Harawira

Friday 12 August

“Earlier this week I issued a warning about restructuring at Maori Television (MTS) which would involve Te Kaea being wound up, Native Affairs being turned into a magazine-style show, and staff cuts across MTS’ news and Current Affairs division", said MANA Movement Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau, Hone Harawira.

“The Chair of the Board of Maori Television Georgina Te Heuheu, and the CEO, Paora Maxwell, immediately issued statements saying that my comments were ‘incorrect’ and nothing more than ‘conjecture’", said Harawira.

“But today my concerns were confirmed in a NZ Herald report that the Government did not want the proposed changes to become public knowledge one week out from the election."

“The Herald also reported that staff feared a crackdown, and suggested that the other two people who applied for the CEO’s job, Carol Hirschfield and Julian Wilcox, might be either made redundant or offered a lesser role within the organisation.”

“The best way to clear all this up of course is for Ms Te Heuheu and Mr Maxwell to come clean about the proposed restructure, but I doubt that they will, for a couple of very simple reasons."

“Firstly, former National MP Georgina Te Heuheu and current Co-Vice President of the Maori Party, Donna Gardiner, were instrumental in appointing a declared Maori Party supporter, Paora Maxwell, to the position of CEO, a controversial appointment that was widely criticised within MTS."

“And secondly, because it seems that Te Heuheu, Gardiner and Maxwell, might be trying to exert editorial control over both Te Kaea and Native Affairs, to get more favourable treatment of government policies."

“Political interference of the news is an ugly charge to level, but it’s hard to see what else it might be called.”

“I call on Te Heuheu and Maxwell to let the staff, and the wider public, know exactly what they had mind and I call on them to do it now.”

“That’s the least they could do.”

ENDS

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