Maori Television says it will not appoint a new chief executive after its board was unable to reach a unanimous decision.

The board's chair, former National MP Georgina te Heuheu said its preference was to announce a new chief executive "but given the importance of the role, our preference is to take the necessary time to ensure we achieve the best outcome possible".

Mrs te Heuheu said the Board faced considerable pressure throughout the recruitment process but was confident it had been handled appropriately.

The majority of the recruitment process was managed by a sub-committee, chaired by the board's deputy chairman Tahu Potiki.


The sub-committee worked with the recruitment company, undertook due diligence and developed a short list of candidates to present to the Board.

It was also agreed that a unanimous decision had to be reached before an appointment would be made.

In responding to allegations that there was a conflict of interest, Tahu Potiki said it was not unusual for board members to be familiar with applicants particularly in a small country like New Zealand.

"But I can confirm that all necessary relationships with candidates were declared and dealt with appropriately," he said.

In announcing the decision not to appoint a new CEO, Chair Mrs te Heuheu acknowledged the impact that speculation has had on candidates who applied for the role.

"As Chairman, I fully expect to be held accountable for my actions but I am disappointed by the distress caused to those who submitted their applications in good faith."

"That same speculation has also had considerable impact on staff and the reputation of Maori Television, and given the organisation's important role in the revitalisation of te reo me nga tikanga Maori, that is regrettable."

The recruitment process for a new chief executive was fraught with controversy after it was revealed Paora Maxwell was one of the final two candidates alongside Richard Jeffries.


Mr Maxwell is a close personal friend of Mrs te Heuheu's.

A further announcement will be made regarding an interim Chief Executive following the departure of Jim Mather on 18 October.

The Board will now take time to consult with key stakeholders, the Crown and Te Putahi Paoho, to decide on next steps.