'Māori' in Māori TV to stay

11:25 am on 7 July 2016

Māori Television never intended to remove the word Māori from its name as part of a rebranding, its chief executive Paora Maxwell says.

A rebranding programme is underway at the station and reports had suggested the broadcaster was considering changing its name and it may no longer include the word Māori.

Labour's Māori broadcasting spokesperson Peeni Henare had said removing the word Māori from the broadcaster's name was crazy.

Others also reacting angrily to the reports.

However, Mr Maxwell said it was never the broadcaster's intention to remove the word Māori.

Paora Maxwell.

Paora Maxwell. Photo: MAORI TV

According to two sources RNZ spoke to, last year Māori Television management told producers to move away from Māori programme names and use English names in order to make the programming more accessible to a wider audience.

RNZ requests to interview Mr Maxwell and board chairman Georgina te Heuheu were declined.

In a statement Mr Maxwell said, "Māori Television's audiences and supporters can be assured that the "Māori" in Māori Television will remain in the organisation's future brand identity."

Māori Television is in it's twelfth year and one of its founding kaumatua and member of the Elder's Council Kingi Ihaka told RNZ Māori TV is the only channel that identifies Māori people as the broadcaster.

Mr Ihaka said Māori are at the forefront of indigenous broadcasting throughout the world.

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