New chief executive for Maori TV

8:45 am on 31 March 2014

After months of controversy, Maori Television has a new chief executive.

Paora Maxwell, a former general manager of Television New Zealand's Maori and Pacific programmes, will take up the job in May. He replaces Jim Mather, who left to head Te Wananga o Aotearoa.

Paora Maxwell.

Paora Maxwell. Photo: MAORI TV

Chair Georgina te Heuheu said the board - which was earlier unable to unanimously agree on who to appoint - is confident it has chosen the best person for the job despite an earlier staff petition against moves to appoint him.

Mr Maxwell says he won't indulge in what he calls the groundswell against him, saying it is in the past and he is humbled by his appointment.

"I wanted this job and obviously the board wanted me and have faith and trust me to do a good job and I have faith and trust in myself also to do a good job."

He says the staff will come to trust him once they stop listening to rumours and gossip.

Labour says appointment may result in staff leaving

The Labour Party says the Maori Television Service could lose staff because of the appointment of Mr Maxwell, who left Television New Zealand "with baggage".

Labour broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says some MTS staff are not happy he's got the job, fearing he has been brought in to crack down on the news division, which has been breaking stories such as alleged misspending by the Kohanga Reo National Trust.

Maori Television's board says it saw no need to take up an offer from TVNZ's chief executive to talk about why Mr Maxwell left. Ms te Heuheu said there was no issue with this because the board accepted what had been put before it.

She said it's on record that Mr Maxwell resigned from TVNZ and she is confident all the referee checks show he's right for the job.

Mr Maxwell said two of the referees in his application were from his former employer.

The board says there were 70 candidates for the position but has declined to say who else was on the shortlist of four.