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Māori TV should be celebrating 12th birthday

Concerns are mounting over the direction of New Zealand’s indigenous network as Māori Television commemorates 12 years of broadcasting this week.

“All of New Zealand should be celebrating Māori broadcasting but management issues continue to raise concerns, says Labour’s Māori Broadcasting spokesperson Peeni Henare.

“It’s time the Minister of Māori Development addressed these issues and provided stability and a sense of achievement for our reo-Maori national broadcaster.

“Te reo Māori is at the heart of Māori identity and Māori TV plays an important role in language development and revitalisation.

“The pending introduction of the Māori Language Bill will change the way Māori Television operates and Labour will do its best to make sure the legislation enhances Māori Language revitalisation efforts through broadcasting.

“New Zealand’s unique cultural identity and Māori TV’s vision for te reo Māori to be valued is just that -  it has to be valued, embraced and spoken by all.

“Māori Television was launched in 2004 by the then Minister of Māori Affairs Parekura Horomia and we have concerns his legacy is being diminished by bad management decisions.

“We’re calling on the Minister of Maori Development Te Ururoa Flavell to confirm he’s confident the network is being managed appropriately and that the future of the reo-Maori channels will continue to be a living, engaging tāonga for all New Zealanders,” says Peeni Henare.

Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Clare Curran says Maori TV has been beset with turmoil since the appointment of the controversial CEO Paora Maxwell.

“There have been allegations of editorial interference, links to the Māori Party, and questionable internal spending decisions.

“An impending decision to move the headquarters follows two years of uncertainty for staff and their families and raises more questions about the decision to spend money on the Newmarket building when they knew they were moving,” says Clare Curran.