shareFB shareTwit shareEmail

Paora Maxwell, a liability

MTS.jpg

 

By Nicole Williams

 

For some reason most staff at Māori TV didn’t want to work for their new CEO, Paora Maxwell. Apparently he has a reputation for being phenomenally rude to people. But despite unprecedented staff opposition, warnings from the outgoing CEO and the resignation of a MTS Board Member – Georgina Te Heuheu, Paora’s mate and Chair of the MTS Board, got him the job.

Hone Harawira warned that Paora would weaken Māori Television’s news and current affairs department and he was right. The department has been under attack from conservative Māori forces since its Kōhanga Reo story. Māori Television has become NZ’s public service television broadcaster (filling the vacuum left by TVNZ) with an impressive amount of Māori and non-Māori programming such as international documentaries and feature films. They even took Russell Brown’s Media 7 franchise to form Media Take.

Paora Maxwell supports government coalition partner, the Māori Party, and not surprisingly within a few months of entering the building, the two most well-known ‘liberal’ voices had been made redundant – Carol Hirshfeld and Julian Wilcox. The sheer magnitude of this loss of experience and talent is huge, and as so many people warned and feared, it suggests that Paora is looking to move things to the right within Māori Television. Another form of right-shifting?

An even more disturbing action emerged last week when Hone claimed his invitation to appear on the live final of Native Affairs had been revoked by the CEO, Paora Maxwell himself.

It would be shockingly unethical for a CEO to get involved in editorial decisions on the flagship current affairs show, and if it’s true it marks a new low. Hone has emails showing the withdrawn invite, and claims to being told he is now persona non grata. That’s been confirmed to me personally by one of the Native Affairs staff – Paora put the kibosh on Hone appearing alongside Tau Henare and Dover Samuels. My contact reckons it’s because Hone criticised Paora’s appointment as CEO.

Tau Henare had something to say about it during the actual programme, “You know Hone was asked onto this programme and then they said he couldn’t come on”

The Māori TV presenter tries to shut him down, but later he pipes up again “You haven’t answered the question about Hone though”.

Awkward for the programme producers. But they still showed some spine by dedicating the last 15 minutes to the departing Julian Wilcox.

We watch with nervous fear that Native Affairs becomes just another magazine show.

 

Nicole Williams is a Coalition for Better Broadcasting Member

Credits

© The CBB Trust 2014 - 2017

Website designed & hosted in NZ by Fyles Web & Print Workshop

Thanks to O’Halloran North Shore Accounting

Media

Press Release Archive

Newsletter #2 - Founding Membership Closing soon

31st of Dec 2014 is ast chance to become a Founding CBB Member

Submission Archive

Election 2014 Debrief

How the 2014 Election affects public service broadcasting and media for years to come.

Newsletters

Post Election Update

What's happened in broadcasting and media since the 2014 election?

Research Archive

CBB on Facebook

CBB on Twitter