Maori TV complaint declined

Last updated 18:54 09/06/2014

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The Broadcasting Standards Authority has declined a complaint by Te Kohanga Reo National Trust Board against a report on Maori Television.

Last September, Maori TV programme Native Affairs reported concerns about the governance and management of the trust. That included allegations the trust had been improperly providing loans to trustees and senior managers, the authority said in a decision today.

It declined to uphold the trust board’s complaint that the broadcast was inaccurate, unbalanced and unfair.

The significance of the issues to the target audience, the broadcaster’s freedom of speech and that of the disaffected whanau who were interviewed had to be balanced against the potential harm to the trust, the authority decision said.

It found the broadcast carried very high public interest and was a legitimate investigation of the financial activities of the trust and its subsidiary, Te Pātaka Ōhanga.

Public organisations like the trust that were funded by, and served, the public, had to be subject to public scrutiny.

Maori Television general manager for news and current affairs Julian Wilcox said the authority's decision confirmed Native Affairs followed a fair, robust and thorough process in its investigation.

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