Teuila Fuatai is a reporter for the NZ Herald

Maori TV wins right to broadcast Trust story

Native Affairs producer Annabelle Lee-Harris
Native Affairs producer Annabelle Lee-Harris

Maori Television have won the right to broadcast a story highlighting financial management problems at the Kohanga Reo National Trust.

The network was forced to put the story on hold last month after the Trust successfully applied for an interim injunction order citing concerns around confidential and private information.

The show, which will be aired on current affairs programme Native Affairs on Monday, will feature credit card expenditure details of the Trust and one of its subsidiary companies Te Pataka Ohanga.

Justice Stephen Kos, at the Wellington High Court, said the Trust had indicated shortly before today's hearing they would not be seeking an extension on the injunction.

After this had been established, the hearing turned to address issues around publication of evidence contained in affidavits.

Maori Television were granted permission to use the details for publication, with Justice Kos saying the information of concern was already a matter of public record as it related to the criminal record of a member of Te Pataka Ohanga.

Native Affairs producer Annabelle Lee-Harris said today's outcome was a victory for Maori journalists.

"We believe that those [credit card] expenses are in the public interest given the Trust is a publicly funded organisation and a charitable trust.

"We hope that today's decision sends a clear message to Maori organisations who receive public money that the Maori media will apply the same level of scrutiny to them as we would any other organisation."

Native Affairs screens at 8.30pm on Monday nights.


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