Board remaining silent on appointing new Māori TV CEO

By Maiki Sherman

As Maori Television prepares to celebrate its 10th birthday, its board is being challenged around its process to appoint a new Chief Executive to lead the broadcaster into the future.

Media reports have tipped Paora Maxwell for the job, a candidate who struck trouble in the first round of selection due to a petition in objection to him, signed by a number of staff at Maori Television. 

Ian Taylor notes that “If they make this decision knowing what they know and taking into account the sense of feeling from staff last time they must be very, very sure that whoever gets the CEO job, that the strengths that they bring are enough to counter all of that.”

Ian Taylor was a board member at the time of the first round of interviews for the Chief Executive role. He later resigned claiming the board failed to follow proper proceedure.

Taylor continues in saying that he “thought it needed to be sure that all the checks and references were being done and in my view they weren’t being done. I would trust now that those steps are being taken.”

One of the challenges that arose when this issue sparked was the close relationship between board chair Georgina te Heuheu and Paora Maxwell. Ian Taylor says te Heuheu did nothing wrong on that front, but thoughts are divided amongst MPs.     

Labour MP, Shane Jones weighed in to the debate and says “I'm annoyed at the chairman of Māori Television. It would be best if she stayed absolutely away from this decision.”

Te Kāea political reporter, Maiki Sherman spoke today with Paora Maxwell, however, he refused to comment at this time. She also made a request to interview the Minister of Māori Affairs, Pita Sharples, however, it was that same old chestnut, in his response that this was clearly a matter for the Board.

Aside from Maxwell, Richard Jeffries and John Bishara are also candidates who have made their intentions clear from the beginning. So it will only come from time passing, where we will see who will be appointed as the CEO of Maori Television.