Axing of executive jobs linked to Pita Sharples’ proposal to make channel more answerable to iwi.
Scrapping the roles of senior Maori TV executives Julian Wilcox and Carol Hirschfeld is linked to a makeover of the channel, to provide more te reo content.
It is also part of a wider plan by the Maori Party to make Maori TV answerable to iwi authorities, instead of the Government.
Called "Te Matawai", it is an advanced proposal that would combine Maori TV with the funding agency Te Mangai Paho and the Maori Language Commission. There are doubts about whether the plan will survive if the Maori Party has no role in government after the election - and mixed feelings about whether it is a good idea in any case.
Some critics believe it is part of the long-running battle by the Maori establishment to rein in young activists and journalists at Maori TV who question their authority.
Maori TV's Native Affairs current affairs show has been under intense attack from Maori Party MPs Tariana Turia and Te Ururoa Flavell.
Te Matawai is seen as the legacy of Pita Sharples, the Minister of Maori Affairs, and he signed off the "realignment" at Maori TV last week.
The meeting between Maori TV and Sharples appeared to be timed to ensure the change was ticked off while it was still assured of a Maori Party minister, something which may not be the case in future. Te Matawai could be Sharples' legacy after he finishes today. Retiring co-leader Tariana Turia's legacy is already secured, with the Whanau Ora programme.
Optimists believe the Maori Party will return to Parliament after the election, and that Flavell will be the next Minister of Maori Affairs. But even if that's so, would he press for Government backing for Te Matawai, given that he may have limited political leverage, and that it is Sharples' policy, not Flavell's own?
There have long been tensions over the way Maori TV has been run. Some staff have been suspicious about chief executive Paora Maxwell, given the controversy over his appointment. But six months after he moved into the job, some staff say he has sharpened the way Maori TV makes deals.
"It's the difference between having a TV producer in charge rather than an accountant," said one programme maker.
The big fear is that realignment could lead to less independence, but Maxwell denies this.
In itself, the disestablishment of Wilcox's role as general manager of news may not pull the teeth from Native Affairs. Some say the show's hard-nosed approach is more the work of its producer, Annabelle Lee-Harris, and presenter Mihi Forbes.
As for the loss of Hirschfeld's role as general manager of production, that seems likely to result in a reduction in English-language programming aimed not just at Maori, but also at a non-Maori, liberal audience.
Both Wilcox and Hirschfeld have been the high-profile faces of Maori TV. Wilcox has won respect for his expertise in te reo.
Both had been groomed as future leaders and sent on costly management courses, but the mood has now changed at Maori TV.
The Food and Grocery Council has offered only limited responses to allegations in the book Dirty Politics. The council is the lobby group for many of New Zealand's largest fast moving consumer goods companies, and was the main corporate organisation named in the Nicky Hager book which alleged links between public relations consultant Carrick Graham and the attack blogger Cameron Slater.
The chairman of the council's board of management, Pierre van Heerden, offered a limited response to Herald queries, reminding me that the council had previously said it did not pay for blogs, comments or articles.
Those responses did not engage with the allegations in Hager's book.
Van Heerden - who is also managing director of the giant Sanitarium food group - declined to clarify whether he or the council's board was involved in the specific issues over use of media highlighted in the book.
"As CEO, Katherine Rich runs the day-to-day operations of the Food and Grocery Council and she has already made some appropriate comments on the issues where deemed necessary," he said.
"There is no need for me as chairman to comment further on these."
Asked how the allegations sat with his role as general manager of Sanitarium, a reputable company owned by the Seventh-day Adventist Church (whose charitable status means it does not have to pay company tax), van Heerden said: "Sanitarium takes pride in being a highly ethical company and its mission is to share hope and health for a better life with all New Zealanders.
"We provide healthy products and nutrition advice to consumers in their journey to healthier eating. We also work with industry partners, and a number of other charities, in different forums to promote a healthier lifestyle and healthier eating. We are proud of the strong positive impact our company has on our community."
The public relations industry seems to have taken a blase approach to the revelations in Dirty Politics and the alleged use of Cameron Slater's Whale Oil Beef Hooked blog to mount PR attacks on competitors or critics of clients.
However, one person who has stuck his neck out is Paul Brislen, who recently made the jump from lobbyist for the Telecommunications Users Association to become executive director of the breakaway PR agency Anthem.
Brislen - who previously headed public relations for Vodafone - acknowledged that negative PR campaigns had always been a part of the business. But he said he had not heard of an orchestrated negative campaign involving a media partner, as alleged in the book.
Beyond the political allegations, in the commercial world it was unusual to see PR firms campaigning so publicly this way through media partners, he said. In PR you could not afford to alienate potential customers, he noted. "You just don't know where the next cheque is coming from."
In this case it appeared that a PR person had enlisted a media partner for negative campaigning There was a wider issue around regulation of blogs, he said. "I'd hate to go down the road where Government has to give you permission to write a blog. But if you have people who are clearly taking money for comment that needs to be looked at."
The Herald's Friday print liftout The Business is being re-launched with a renewed focus on "serious, high-end business readers", and will get a design revamp and higher quality paper - at 52 gsm.
Herald Business Editor Liam Dann said a key editorial focus of the new look would be a five-page run of commentary and specialist writing through the middle of the section.
As well as existing features such as the Stock Takes column and this very fine media page from me, readers will have Executive Success - a new weekly column by Helen Twose focused on executive-level trends, issues and profiles of leading executives.
Brian Fallow's column on the economy moves into the Friday edition and Jock Anderson's Case Load legal blog will now appear in print as well.
"We'll also be launching with a weekly page focused on doing business in Asia," said Dann.
A new recruit is investigative journalist Matt Nippert.