MTS CEO faces hard questions from Select Committee

By Heta Gardiner
  • Wellington

Māori Television appeared before the Māori Affairs Select Committee today for an inquiry into the service's financial performance and current operations.

Financials for the future and future strategies was the focus of Māori Television's appearance today. But other agendas were put to the table.

Select Committee member Marama Davidson asked the question, “Through the review you lost a number of high-profile staff, including well respected and appreciated reo speakers.”

Māori Television’s CEO Paora Maxwell gave the following response, “Most companies have a natural attrition. Usually, if you have a new leadership change, particularly at the CEO level, when you have a realignment of strategy and subsequent reorganisation, you'll often get people that resign or leave.” 

The attention from the organisations financial position then shifted to the Chief Executive.

“I note that your salary Paora has gone up $80,000 - $100,000 from the previous....” says Davidson.

“I would love to report that my salary had increased by $80,000 - $100,000, that simply is not true,” says Maxwell.

Davidson also raised concerns of editorial interference, “Just some clarity on whether you think it's appropriate to interfere with political content?”

“I think it's important for you to understand that my role as chief executive is also as editor and chief. I'm actually the boss of the editorial at Maori Television. So it's not interference it's me doing my job,” says Maxwell.

Maxwell has made a proposal to upgrade the station's technology to align with its multi-platform strategy.

The CEO also said he believes that the impact of the Māori Language Bill will be minimal on the station's reo strategy plan.

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