"Mr Mather has made an immense contribution to the success of Māori Television,” said Mrs te Heuheu.
“He took a fledgling broadcaster and developed it into a fully grown organisation now occupying its own unique space in our national television landscape, and working hard to earn the respect of a wide audience.”
Mr Mather joined Māori Television in 2005 and has overseen significant growth of New Zealand’s indigenous broadcaster including the launch of the Te Reo channel, the establishment of the World Indigenous Television Broadcasters Network (WITBN), coverage of the Rugby World Cup and the annual ANZAC Day broadcasts.
Proud of his achievements with the organisation, Mr Mather was quick to acknowledge the Board and staff for their support. “Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi, engari he toa takitini is the proverb that best describes my time at Māori Television,” he said. “Success is not the work of one, but the work of many.”
“I’ve had an incredible journey at Māori Television and I’m extremely proud of the work we’ve all done in the revitalisation of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori. It has been an absolute honour working alongside so many talented and committed colleagues.”
Mr Mather said it had been a difficult decision, but his strong passion for Māori education and development meant that the new opportunity to lead Te Wānanga o Aotearoa was one he had to pursue.
“We are well down the path of Māori Television’s transition to a multi-media digital organisation and I feel like the time is right to conclude my tenure at the helm.”
“When the time comes I will be sad to leave Māori Television but proud of the reputation we have earned through the hard work and dedication of the staff and board over many years,” he said. “I am excited about the future ahead for Māori Television and looking forward to the new challenge at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa.”
In accepting his resignation, Mrs te Heuheu praised his leadership skills in setting up a robust organisation that will continue to go from strength to strength.
“Jim brought a unique blend of skills to Māori Television including business and people skills. His unwavering commitment to te reo me ngā tikanga Māori, and to Māori success will serve him well in his new position. He will leave Māori Television with our very best wishes”.
Mr Mather will complete a six month notice period before taking up his new role. The recruitment process for a new CEO at Māori Television will start next month.