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Govt distances self from Māori TV appointment

Broadcasting Spokesperson

4 September 2013 MEDIA STATEMENT

Govt distances self from Māori TV appointment

Bill English is distancing the Government from Māori TV’s looming appointment of a CEO who controversially left his previous executive job at TVNZ, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Clare Curran said today.

“Bill English today played a straight bat in Parliament in response to questions about whether he believes the Chair of Māori Television, former National MP Georgina Te Heu Heu, has a conflict of interest in her choice of appointment of her close friend Paora Maxwell as MTS CEO.

“Mr Maxwell left TVNZ with no employment reference under a confidential agreement.

“If Georgina Te Heu Heu has a conflict of interest during an appointment process for the new CEO she should declare it and stand aside. Bill English as shareholding minister must ensure the process is clear and transparent.

“I understand that there are such concerns about Mr Maxwell that his former boss Kevin Kendrick had offered a briefing to the Māori Television Board. Mr Kendrick’s offer was not accepted by the Board.

“Mr Maxwell’s appointment process is believed to have stalled following a petition circulating at Māori Television of the majority of staff who are united against his appointment.

“The National Government can ill afford yet another crony appointment to a broadcaster following the appointment of John Key’s electorate chair to the board of New Zealand on Air in 2009 and the ensuing furore over his political interference inside New Zealand on Air.

“Bill English is right to play a straight bat and publicly confirm that he expects the Māori Television Board to behave with proprietary.

“And if there is a question mark over one of the candidates then they should have taken up the TVNZ CEO’s offer to hear a briefing,” said Clare Curran.


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