The Herald reports:
Maori Television’s star broadcaster Mihingarangi Forbes has quit the company after complaining of management interference in the popular Native Affairs current affairs show.
Forbes resignation came as a shock to many at Maori Television today but was the result of long-running tensions between the news team at Native Affairs and chief executive Paora Maxwell, appointed after a tumultuous process.
Forbes was unavailable for comment but confirmed the resignation on Twitter, saying: “I’ve resigned. Thank you those who shared stories.”
The Herald has been told Forbes’ resignation came after the Native Affairs team were told they were not to run a story on Te Kohanga Reo National Trust, planned for Monday.
If this is correct, it is appalling. Media should be about exposing wrong-doing, not covering it up.
Mihi Forbes is an excellent reporter and interviewer, and I don’t blame her for quitting if management were interfering in editorial decisions.
The Native Affairs team’s investigation into management and spending at the Kohangareo trust was considered by Maoridom’s old guard as a disrespectful way to probe an establishment organisation led by matriarch Dame Iritana Tawhiwhirangi.
But there were also those who championed the team for having the courage to raise questions about powerful establishment figures.
Respect runs both ways.
If Maori TV isn’t willing to scrutinise Maori organisations that are behaving inappropriately, then what is the point of having them?