Jim Mather to head RNZ

Clare Curran, Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Minister, has announced that Jim Mather will replace Richard Griffin as chair of RNZ.

Griffin had indicated he wasn’t interested in another term, and after the controversy over Carol Hirschfeld’s resignation and his communications with Curran it was unlikely he would have been given the chance to stay anyway.

RNZ: Jim Mather named as incoming RNZ chair

The current head of Te Wānanga o Aotearoa Jim Mather, who also led Māori Television for nine years, will replace Richard Griffin as chair of RNZ.

Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Minister Clare Curran announced the appointment this afternoon.

She said Mr Mather, who is of Ngāti Awa, Ngāi Tūhoe and English descent, was highly regarded as a chief executive.

“His understanding of the public broadcasting ethos and landscape means he’ll be able to make a significant contribution,” she said in a statement.

He has been appointed for a term of three years and replaces Richard Griffin whose term expired at the end of April.

Mr Mather said he was looking forward to taking up the new position.

“RNZ’s commitment to professional journalism that questions, celebrates and holds to account, is an immensely valuable resource for all New Zealanders.

“RNZ has an enviable reputation in a fast evolving and increasingly diverse New Zealand society and I look forward to working with the RNZ team.”

In March Mather said he would not seek reappointment at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa “for family reasons”.

Stuff in mid-March: Family reasons given for not seeking reappointment

The boss of Te Wānanga o Aotearoa has called quits on his time at the helm.

Dr Jim Mather told the Māori tertiary giant he would not seek reappointment for family reasons.

Mather  was appointed to the chief executive’s office in 2013 and given the title of Te Taiurungi or helmsman. He will complete his 5-year tenure in October.

He led a multimillion-dollar restructure, streamlined the business, realigned campuses around the country and improved educational experiences for its students.

The wānaga council, Te Mana Whakahaere, were in the middle of considering Mather’s position when he announced he would not seek an extension to his contract.

Prior to his time with the wānanga, Mather was the chief executive at Māori Television.

Curious that he said he would be moving on “for family reasons” then, and is now going to head RNZ instead.

Griffin’s term at RNZ has already expired.The Hirschfeld issue blew up in early April.

Mather’s term at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa  was due to run until the end of October.

Appointment papers state that the term is from 14 May 2018 to 30 April 2021. The appointment is still subject to “the satisfactory completion of background checks”.



  1. Alan Wilkinson

     /  May 9, 2018

    RNZ staff will have to learn more Te Reo.

  2. sorethumb

     /  May 9, 2018

    WILLIAM SAFRAN University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado
    Language is a marker of ethnic identity; a vehicle for expressing a distinct culture; a source of national cohesion; and an instrument for building political community. ……………
    There is no question that language is one of the elements defining collective consciousness, the others being religion, history, common descent, and territory.

    • Gezza

       /  May 9, 2018

      What do you think of the appointment? Good one?

      • sorethumb

         /  May 9, 2018

        Language is important. Babies react to their parents language before a foreign tongue.
        Language is a marker of territory; that’s why people are offended by Te Authoritarian Espiner. RNZ is the territory of English speakers.

      • Griff

         /  May 9, 2018

        What I think is the result will be more maorifaction of RNZ and a shrinking number of people who bother listening to it.

        • Gezza

           /  May 9, 2018

          Could be. Time will tell.

        • sorethumb

           /  May 9, 2018

          What bothers me is that they don’t let us know (true) public reaction. That’s an abuse of power.

          • sorethumb

             /  May 9, 2018

            I doubt Guyon Espiner would in judiciously call his detractors “the uglies” if….? Hmmmm .. he does “enjoy winding those sort up”?. Rather reflects on the management (and government).

  3. duperez

     /  May 9, 2018

    I saw the post about Clare Curran’s release of documents after reading the story on the Herald online last night. No comments on the post and it seems to be a story of irrelevance.

    “The large wad of documents contained many redactions but no smoking gun.” We don’t want documents, we don’t want to know what happened. We want smoking guns. 🐒


  1. Jim Mather to head RNZ — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition