28 Mar 2014

Maori TV celebrates 10th year

8:02 am on 28 March 2014

Maori Television turns 10 years old on Friday, an anniversary that follows the controversial appointment on Thursday of its new chief executive Paora Maxwell.

Controversy also marked the launch of the channel, though it's worked hard to win over its critics.

Even before the channel went to air it made news headlines after appointing as its first chief executive Canadian John Davy in 2002, who was later found to have provided false qualifications to get the job.

But it overcame initial hiccups to attract a cumulative audience of 300,000 viewers in its first month on air.

By 2009, a BERL survey revealed 84 percent of the general population believed the channel should be a permanent part of New Zealand broadcasting.

Highlights have included the launch in 2008 of Maori language only channel Te Reo, and three years later Maori TV securing the broadcasting rights to the Rugby World Cup in 2011.

The broadcaster's current affairs programme Native Affairs has also won acclaim.

New chief executive Paora Maxwell says his aim is to develop more exciting programming for viewers, encourage more people to speak the language and continue developing Maori TV to serve its viewers.