Board of Māori Television decides not to appoint new CEO

The Board of Māori Television has decided not to appoint a new Chief Executive after it was unable to reach a unanimous decision.

Chairman of the Board, Georgina te Heuheu says “Clearly we would have preferred to be announcing a new Chief Executive at this stage but given the importance of the role, our preference is to take the necessary time to ensure we achieve the best outcome possible.”

The Board faced considerable pressure throughout the recruitment process but remains confident that it has been handled appropriately.

The majority of the recruitment process was managed by a sub-committee, which was for the most part, chaired by Deputy Chairman Tahu Potiki. The role of the sub-committee was to work with the recruitment company, undertake the necessary due diligence and develop a short list of candidates to present to the Board.  It was also agreed at the outset that a unanimous decision had to be reached before an appointment would be made.

In responding to allegations that there was a conflict of interest, Tahu Potiki says “It’s not unusual for Board members to be familiar with applicants, particularly in a small country like New Zealand, but I can confirm that all necessary relationships with candidates were declared and dealt with appropriately.”

In announcing the decision not to appoint a new CEO, Chairman Georgina te Heuheu acknowledged the impact that speculation has had on candidates who applied for the role.

“As Chairman, I fully expect to be held accountable for my actions but I am disappointed by the distress caused to those who submitted their applications in good faith.”

“That same speculation has also had considerable impact on staff and the reputation of Māori Television, and given the organisation’s important role in the revitalisation of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori, that is regrettable.”

A further announcement will be made regarding an interim Chief Executive following the departure of Jim Mather on 18 October. The Board will now take time to consult with key stakeholders, the Crown and Te Pūtahi Paoho, to decide on next steps.