Govt open to adding Māori representative to Public Media Advisory Board

updated By Talisa Kupenga

National MP Nuk Korako is slamming a public broadcasting ministerial advisory group for having no Māori representation.

The group has been established to investigate setting up a public media funding commission to advise parliament on the state of the media and resourcing needs of public media.

It's a concern that there's no Māori voice on the Public Media Panel, opposition Māori development spokesman Nuk Korako says.

"Māori Television, Radio Waatea, Te Hiku Radio, all of these are actually reliant on public funds and they have not got a voice on this advisory group."

Minister for Broadcasting Clare Curran says she’s aware of National’s criticisms.

"[It’s] a bit rich coming from a party that when it was in government froze funding to broadcasting across the board," says Curran.

Curran says the panel of four has only had two meetings. Te Kāea has been told there is the possibility of another panel position.

"We're open to adding a Māori representative on that panel," she says.

Associate Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson hoped a Māori representative would be elected.

Korako says Labour is paying lip service when it comes to its commitment to Māori.

"Keep in mind they went to Waitangi en masse, barbecues, sausage sizzles and all and they talked about a new engagement with Māori.  Just over a month later, what we see is that they are like a jilted bride at the altar."

Labour met last night to discuss the future direction of the broadcasting space.

Curran says "We discussed a range of things- mainly big picture- around how we can work together, what some of the pressures are in Māori Broadcasting and right across the broadcasting sector.  We're absolutely focused on how we can do things better. It's still early days."

Curran says she and Māori Broadcasting Minister Nanaia Mahuta expect to meet to discuss how they can work more closely in this space.