Today’s decision by the Māori Television board for the channel to remain in Auckland is a victory for common-sense but raises the question why such a move was ever considered in the first place, says Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Clare Curran.
“Clearly time and money has been wasted on exploring the proposal to farm Maori Television out to Hamilton and Rotorua – money that could have been spent on television content.
“The Chair of the Maori Television Service board Georgina Te Heuheu claims the decision making process was ‘robust’ but this ignores why it was ever discussed and scoped. The only reason this move was ever considered was so Te Ururoa Flavell could say he was bringing jobs to his electorate.
“This uncertainty shows Maori Television again took its eye off the ball after a series of editorial disasters. Instead of dealing with the problems around the apparent intervention by the Minister of Maori Affairs in a Native Affairs debate on Whanau Ora, the channel has been preoccupied by what would have been a major shift from one of its biggest markets.
“It’s heartening to see there is now some measure of work security and the board is at least working rapidly towards a final decision on a new Auckland location by early next year,” says Clare Curran.