Te Mangai Paho to be Strengthened

  • Tau Henare
Maori Affairs

The Minister of Maori Affairs, the Hon Tau Henare and the Minister of Communications, the Hon Maurice Williamson, today announced that Te Mangai Paho, the Maori broadcasting funding agency, will remain as a stand alone organisation but strengthened.

Last year, in fulfilment of its commitment under the Coalition Agreement, the Government decided to review the operation of Te Mangai Paho. A review team headed by an independent chairperson, Mr Kim Workman, a former senior Maori public servant, reported to the Government in November 1997. Before making final decisions, the Government consulted with Maori. Consultation took place in February 1998.

"The Government has accepted that Te Mangai Paho should remain as a stand alone organisation but be strengthened. The key area for attention is Te Mangai Paho's Board. A strong, competent Board is a critical factor to the success of the Government's Maori broadcasting policy.

We will be seeking nominations for appointments to Te Mangai Paho's Board from such groups as the National Maori Organisations and Maori broadcasters.

The Government will be seeking changes to the Broadcasting Act 1989 to make Te Mangai Paho subject to the power of ministerial direction in relation to matters of general government policy, and to make it clearer that Te Mangai Paho stands primarily for the promotion of the Maori language through broadcasting.

Te Mangai Paho will also be receiving additional administrative resources so that it can manage its funding of Maori television programmes effectively.

Te Mangai Paho has been under the microscope for a long time by various agencies, and it is now time to let it get on with the important task of promoting the Maori language through broadcasting. Te Mangai Paho's performance has improved markedly in recent times, and the measures announced today should further enhance its ability to ensure that public funds are used effectively," the Ministers concluded.