June 17, 2015
Email sign of Native interference
Maori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell has been accused of misleading a select committee over alleged editorial interference in Maori Television.
Labour broadcasting spokesperson Clare Curran says Mr Flavell told the committee yesterday that neither he nor his office expressed a view about what should be screened or who should be approached to take part in a proposed Native Affairs panel debate about Whanau Ora.
She released emails from his press secretary, Hinerangi Barr, questioning the purpose of the show and saying she did not think the issue would be covered in any depth if New Zealand First was included.
Ms Barr posted on Facebook last week that a blog on the issue was defamatory and she had been woven in to a weird media conspiracy about the Minister trying to heavy MTS to pull stories.
Ms Curran asked why the debate was scrapped on the same day the minister met with MTS chief executive Paora Maxwell for what was described as a regular briefing.
She says editorial interference by a minister or anyone acting on his behalf is a clear breach of the Maori Television Service Act.
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