Maori TV wrangles

September 11th, 2013 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Those of us who have been around for a while recall the disaster that was Aotearoa Television. It may have done some worthwhile things, but it was remembered only for the scandals – Tuku’s underpants and many more things like that.

For many years Maori Television has done an excellent job of not being like its predecessor. They’ve been almost controversy free and they’ve done really well on the programming side. Native Affairs is a top class current affairs programme. They do ANZAC Day proud, they shared broadcasting for the Rugby World Cup, and many of their documentaries are also excellent.

So this has created a climate where there isn’t wide-spread opposition or resentment to their funding, which is considerable – tens of millions of dollars a year from the taxpayer. But it don’t take a lot to poison the well, and the appointment of the new CEO appears to be on the way to doing that.

Stuff reports:

One of the pioneers of New Zealand’s animation industry has quit the board of Maori Television over his concerns about the recruitment process for a chief executive.

Ian Taylor, founder of Dunedin-based Animation Research – famous for the 3D graphics it develops for sports such as the America’s Cup and Formula One – said he felt he had no choice but to resign in protest.

Losing a board member is a bad sign. Having half your staff sign a petition against one of the applicants is also a bad sign.

announced yesterday that it was suspending the process of recruiting a new chief executive, because its board could not decide on a replacement for Jim Mather.

That is also a concern, because boards should be able to agree. Even if different directors have different preferences, the job of the board is to have a process and a discussion that can lead to a decision all directors can agree to.

The remaining board members need to focus strongly on how to proceed, and do it in a way that is suitable for a taxpayer funded organisation.

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18 Responses to “Maori TV wrangles”

  1. kowtow (8,487 comments) says:

    Maoris have been given bag loads of taxpayer money for nothing.

    If they want to have a TV station then the Maoris should fund it out of the shed loads of cash that they already have.

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  2. duggledog (1,558 comments) says:

    This organisation costs a fortune, is watched by nobody and should have been made to pay its way as soon as National took office. After all it was an election bribe courtesy of Labour and Maori collectively are worth billions.

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  3. SW (240 comments) says:

    duggledog: How much does it cost each year?

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  4. liarbors a joke (1,069 comments) says:

    apartheid is alive and kicking in NZ..

    a·part·heid (-pärtht, -ht)
    n.
    1. An official policy of racial segregation formerly practiced in the Republic of South Africa, involving political, legal, and economic discrimination against nonblacks.

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  5. peterwn (3,273 comments) says:

    If staff object to a particular candidate because they think he will be a real b*****d, then so be it. The CEO’s job is to run the outfit for the benefit of stakeholders, not staff.

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  6. Harriet (4,972 comments) says:

    Some one should just set up a private Pakeha tv channel – and the profits from that can then be used to run it’s subsidiary company, Maori TV, after a buy-out from government!

    That will then negate the losses upon government that have been caused by the Maoris. The government then gets more taxes, has less expenditure, and can then spend it on poor Maori – instead of the highly paid ones at Maori TV! :cool:

    Afterall, that’s a bit more fairer than the decades old debacle of Maori getting paid from general taxes, TO DO what they’ve repeatedly shown that they CAN’T DO! :cool:

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  7. greenjacket (466 comments) says:

    Maori TV gets millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money.
    The Chinese TV station gets no taxpayers’ money at all.
    One are troughers with a racist PC agenda. The other is a successful business that works to appeal to its customers.

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  8. duggledog (1,558 comments) says:

    SW: 50 million or about half a billion since it started. Happy with that? I’m not

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  9. emmess (1,428 comments) says:

    50 million or about half a billion since it started.

    Worse still – For just an average .2% share of people watching TV

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  10. SW (240 comments) says:

    So about a third of State funding on television. No, I wouldn’t claim that is money particularly well spent.

    I guess it depends on whether you think the state should be involved in television at all. Some on the right seem to think that all state funded media is inherently socialist. Some on the left seem to think that all privately run media is only concerned about profit, therefore journalistic standards tend to be non-existent (the result being lowest common denominator type news).

    For argument sake – two years of Maori TV v cost of paying consultants to sell Mighty River Power. Which is the better spend? I think you could argue that both spends are ideologically driven and only benefit a very small number of tax payers. What are your thoughts?

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  11. Paulus (2,627 comments) says:

    Wish I had the opportunity of deciding who my boss was to be !!

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  12. duggledog (1,558 comments) says:

    We’re selling MRP shares to pay the bills SW because we can’t stop our nasty habit of throwing money away – on non productive areas like Maori TV.

    MRP shares are available to anyone regardless of race. Maori TV jobs are only available to Maori (unless it’s a job they can’t do properly themselves then you’re ‘allowed in’ on a special dispensation. Yes I do know that for a fact).

    What I’d like to see is TVNZ dump all its Maori programming. There isn’t much but – why not?

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  13. duggledog (1,558 comments) says:

    BTW I’m totally pro Maori TV but it should pay for itself. Fair enough to have free frequencies, no problem there.

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  14. Mark1 (90 comments) says:

    “Almost controversy free” – save the minor matter of John Davy’s fraud right back at the start.

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  15. JeffW (326 comments) says:

    “So this has created a climate where there isn’t wide-spread opposition or resentment to their funding”.

    No, just that the populace has been beaten into submission. Sell TV One and Two, get out of radio and then one can stop the subsidy to Maori TV.

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  16. SW (240 comments) says:

    Cheers for the response duggledog.

    On us selling MRP shares to pay bills, that isn’t quite the reason put forward by the Government was it? The talk was of using the money to invest in infrastructure such as roads, schools and hospitals, as well as paying down debt wasn’t it? The reality has also been different, there have been reports that it has funded new spending such as employers drug testing employees etc…

    MRP shares are available to anyone regardless of race just like Maori television is available to anyone regardless of race. I take your job claim to mean an ‘un-official’ policy (otherwise it would be a clear case of discrimination). If true, that is disgraceful, but unfortunately not unheard of and can work the other way round in other industries.

    My case for ‘why not’ (which is probably unconvincing!) is simple: Funding for Maori programming can add value for the country and not just Maori.

    Before there was a move from the government to support Te Reo, I understand that the language was close to dead. I’m sure many people couldn’t care less if it was lost. Regardless, once lost it aint comming back.

    Like it or not, Maori culture (including the language) is a point of difference that New Zealand has over the rest of the world. Without it, NZ still has fantastic scenery, but not much else to attract tourists. Look no further than the tourism NZ website (or that of Air NZ or countless other companies) to see Maori culture being taped into in order to promote NZ internationally.

    For me, this is not evidence of political correctness. It is evidence of value. People from other countries are interested in that sort of crap just like we are interested in Roman culture when we visit Greece.

    In saying that, I am obviously not for government’s throwing money at Maori programming uncritically. But I think it is fair to say that some public money spent on Maori programming (to help keep the language and culture alive) is not money thrown down a black hole.

    Do you agree or think that’s crap?

    I still think 50 mill a year for Maori TV is prob not money well spent, but 0 dollars a year on Maori programming would have negative consequences down the track. Your point that Maori should fund it misses that if they do not, it would be to NZ’s detriment. Unless you don’t accept it would be a detriment. Or that Maori broadcasting hasn’t influenced the resurgance of Maori language and culture since the 1980s.

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  17. orewa1 (410 comments) says:

    Actually I agree that Maori TV does a very workmanlike job on a modest budget, addressing some issues that are crucially important to a substantial minority group. I am a lot happier having my tax money spent on their high quality programmes, than on the dumbed-down unmitigated garbage that emerges from the far better funded TV1.

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  18. adze (2,126 comments) says:

    I’d want to know more about the objection to the appointment process – I’ve noticed Ian Taylor can be a bit opinionated, going by past occasions in which he’s been interviewed.

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