NRT: Political interference at Maori Television

Written By: - Date published: 5:04 pm, October 24th, 2014 - 11 comments
Categories: hone harawira, Media, national, same old national - Tags: , , ,

no-right-turn-256Reposted from No Right Turn

A government-owned television channel arranges an interview with a former opposition MP, but the government-appointed CEO spikes it. Something from Russia or Cuba maybe? No – according to Hone Harawira its happening right here in New Zealand:

“[Maori TV CEO Paora] Maxwell also gave an undertaking that the changes were purely operational and that there would be no political interference in the decisions made by the News and Current Affairs Division.

“Well … that undertaking has lasted just one month, with Maxwell telling Native Affairs staff that there was no way he would allow me to come onto Native Affairs final show of the year, set to go to air live on Monday 3 November.

I had already been invited by Native Affairs to feature in the show alongside other ex-MPs, Tau Henare and Shane Jones (see emails below), but when Maxwell found out he called in the Native Affairs team and told them point-blank that I would not be allowed on the show. No problems with Henare, no problem with Jones, but no way for Harawira.

[Emphasis added]

Its not the role of the chief executive of a public broadcaster to interfere in editorial decisions. But that’s exactly what National’s crony CEO is doing, and specifically for political purposes. It appears the concerns about Maxwell – that he was appointed to gut Maori TV and turn it into a cheerleader for the establishment rather than a journalistic watchdog – were fully justified. But its hard to see how Maori, or the public, are well-served by the corruption of their public service broadcaster. Maxwell has to go, before he does any more damage.

11 comments on “NRT: Political interference at Maori Television”

  1. Clemgeopin 1

    Just not the thing to do. What a disgrace!
    Every MP from every political party should condemn this CEO and demand his immediate resignation.

  2. One Anonymous Bloke 2

    Can we put in an OIA request for the Enemies List?

  3. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 3

    The answer is clearly for the government to own more of the media.

    • karol 3.1

      There are ways of setting up state run public service broadcasting that will prevent political interference, according to Peter Thompson – I’d have to hunt to find where I read him saying that).

      Part of the problem with Maori TV now is the way top tier personnel are being replaced. There needs to be no political interference in who is chosen for the top positions in a state broadcaster.

    • Brian Biggins 3.2

      The government already ‘owns’ the media. What planet having you been living on? Not Planet Key, that’s for sure!

  4. karol 4

    This and the outsourcing of Maori TV programming by TVNZ are twin moves that are pretty worrying.

    John Drinnan reports on it:

    ,blockquote>Outsourcing of Maori programming will make Television New Zealand less engaged in the Maori world – but that might suit the broadcaster.

    The Maori Party’s “Te Matawai” policy will take funding from the Crown and place it under the control of a new iwi-based authority which will be linked to Maori TV and the Maori Language Commission.

    The change may allow the state broadcaster to distance itself from the inevitable politics of such a scheme.
    All media have a poor reputation for reflecting Maori and other non-Pakeha groups among their staff. But a state broadcaster has a special responsibility in this area.

    Maori are few and far between on Radio NZ, though the appointment of Carol Hirschfeld as the new head of content may change that.

  5. ropata 5

    Also. what happened to Media Take episode 15? Was it political?

    There are some clues on this page …

    As “The War on Terror” enters a new round Media Take assembles a specialist panel and devotes an entire episode to developments in the Middle East, Australia…

  6. venezia 6

    So – its gone. I remember viewing this on the night it was shown but saw only part of it. Now the chance has disappeared. Our viewing is being censored. I’m speechless!

  7. venezia 7

    Here is Russell Browns account of the actual Media Take episode 15:

  8. tc 8

    Maxwell was appointed to turn it into another govt friendly media outlet, anything less and hes not doing his job.

  9. Dont worry. Be happy 9

    Why don’t we call ‘political interference’ what it is?


    Own the language own the arguement as someone wise once said.

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