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Forbes quits Maori TV's Native Affairs

Resignation reportedly due to management interference in programme's content.

Nick Grant
Thu, 04 Jun 2015

Mihingarangi Forbes, the host of Maori Television’s current affairs show Native Affairs, has quit her job, reportedly due to management interference in the programme’s content.

Ms Forbes tweeted news of her resignation but has declined to comment on her reasons for leaving.

However, it’s understood her move was prompted by Native Affairs staff being forbidden to run a story on the management of Te Kohanga Reo National Trust on next Monday’s show.

It’s the third high profile departure from the broadcaster since Paora Maxwell took up the position of chief executive in May last year.

Head of news and production Julian Wilcox and general manager of production Carol Hirschfeld left Maori Television within months of the arrival of Mr Maxwell, whose appointment was reportedly unpopular among staff.

There were concerns about Mr Maxwell’s strong ties to company chairwoman and ex-National Cabinet minister Georgina te Heuheu, and suspicions he would attempt to exercise control over current affairs content critical of Maori establishment figures and institutions.

Ms Forbes’ departure will no doubt inspire speculation she will end up co-hosting the new TV3 current affairs show that’s replacing Campbell Live and/or that John Campbell may be in frame to front Native Affairs.

However, having just seen off one presenter not interested in presiding over lighter, more “entertaining” content, it seems unlikely MediaWorks’ management will leap at the opportunity to replace him with a journalist with a similar attitude to what constitutes news; likewise, Maori Television’s management and Mr Campbell.

Nick Grant
Thu, 04 Jun 2015
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Forbes quits Maori TV's Native Affairs