John Drinnan

Media writer for the New Zealand Herald

Maori TV silent on Wilcox

Julian Wilcox. Photo / Natalie Slade
Julian Wilcox. Photo / Natalie Slade

Maori Television is refusing to say if it has asked news boss Julian Wilcox about his political ambitions.

Wilcox has been tipped by Labour sources seek the Labour nomination for the Tamaki-Makaurau Maori electorate if Shane Taurima does not stand.

Labour has blocked Taurima from standing in Tamaki Makaurau and Party sources have said in the past that would trigger an application and almost selection for Wilcox.

Both Maori TV and Wilcox have refused to discuss speculation about its news boss seeking a place in Parliament. Wilcox has not returned calls.

Despite controversy over TVNZ's handling of Taurima, spokeswoman Vienna Richard issued a statement which evades a question whether it has raised the matter with Wilcox.

"Maori Television's reputation is important to all staff, to iwi, our viewers and the communities we serve.

"We have a range of staff policies and contractual obligations that staff are expected to uphold to maintain standards of professionalism and integrity.

"These cover participation in the community including voluntary associations and political parties, and any associated, potential conflicts of interest.

"If any member of staff has a real or perceived conflict of interest, or political participation, there is an obligation to disclose that to their Manager and action taken to address it.

"As we have previously stated, if any staff member were standing for political office, our internal staff'policies and processes makes it extremely unlikely that they could do that and remain a staff member of Maori Television, especially if they are working in the news and current affairs team," the statement said.

- NZ Herald

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