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.
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.
Maori TV 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.