John Drinnan

Media writer for the New Zealand Herald

Taylor - why I resigned from Maori TV board

TV entrepreneur and former Maori TV board member Ian Taylor Photo / Dean Purcell
TV entrepreneur and former Maori TV board member Ian Taylor Photo / Dean Purcell

Acclaimed businessman Ian Taylor has given more details on why he resigned over the botched Maori TV chief executive appointment.

Taylor said he was gagged and he resigned from the Maori Television board of directors because he was not allowed to warn about risks in the, now botched, search for a new chief executive.

"What I wanted to warn them of is exactly what has happened," he said.

He said yesterday he had resigned as a Crown representative on the board over the "process" around the job search which was abandoned yesterday and over not being allowed to speak out.

"I wanted to talk about the risks ahead in taking the path that they were taking," he said.

He had hoped resignation would give him to freedom to make comments, but he declined to spell out all the issues.

"I resigned because the board was not fully informed - you cannot expect board members to make ... decisions if they do not have all the information.

Asked if the absence of information related to details on one candidates background - as was suggested in Parliament last week - he said: "for a board to function there needs to be frank and open discussion."

In the sixties, Taylor was lead singer of the rock band the Kal-Q-Lated Risk.

In the seventies he was also a presenter of TVNZ children's show Spot On and become a respected player in New Zealand's animation and production scene as owner of the highly awarded company Animation Research.

He has been described as the only person on the board who understood TV programme making.

Taylor insisted his departure was was about process and said there was no spat about who should get the top job.

He did not see any conflicts of interest, but the failure of the process had been bad for Maori TV as it neared its 10th anniversary

"We as a Board let down the staff and the great works they have done to get to this place and it was a stupid silly tiny thing that should have been addressed," he said.

Meanwhile, Maori TV's current chief executive Jim Mather - who steps down next month - has guaranteed that there will be no recriminations against any staff who signed the petition against one of the candidates, or the petition organisers.

"A copy of the petition was shared with the Board and this did not include any of the names of signatories, " he said.

- NZ Herald

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