On 3 August 2015, we broadcast, and published on our website, an item about conflict within the New Zealand Māori Council.
In our item, we reported a document that we described as being minutes of a Māori Council meeting. We reported that those minutes contained allegations against Donna Hall and her husband, Sir Edward Taihakurei Durie. In particular, we said that the Māori Council had dismissed Ms Hall as its lawyer and had accused her of not following its instructions. We also reported that Sir Edward had had himself reappointed to the Crown Forestry Rental Trust without consulting the Māori Council Executive.
Māori Television did not intend to report any allegations as fact. Rather, we intended to report on an alleged conflict in the Māori Council without taking sides.
Māori Television now accepts that the minutes did not represent the view of the Council or its Executive. We have no evidence that any of the allegations in those alleged minutes were true. Specifically, Māori Television now accepts that Ms Hall was not dismissed by the Māori Council, that the allegation that she failed to follow Council instructions was wrong, and Sir Edward's appointment to the Crown Forestry Rental Trust had been expressly approved by the Māori Council Executive.
We apologise to Sir Edward and Ms Hall.