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An employment dispute at Maori Television has forced the resignation of a founding member of the channel's board.

Leonie Pihama, a leading Maori academic and film-maker, resigned from the seven-member board on Wednesday citing a conflict of interest over an employment dispute taken against the network by her partner, Te Kaea news presenter Ngarimu Daniels.

The Herald understands a personal grievance case will be heard by the Employment Relations Authority in Auckland next week.

A senior staff member, who did not want to be named, said the dispute stemmed from moves by then head of news and current affairs Tawini Rangihau to reduce the number of hours worked by Ms Daniels and her decision to split up her pairing with co-host Julian Wilcox on the nightly news. Ms Rangihau is now general manager of reo and programming for the station

A spokesman for Maori Television said the channel had no comment on the employment dispute or on Ms Pihama's resignation.