Niu FM Denies Bid For Political Influence
By Jason Brown, editor of Avaiki Nius
AUCKLAND (Pacific Media Watch): Editorial change at New Zealand's newest Pacific news service is not an attempt to exert
crucial influence on this year's general election, says Niu FM chief executive Sina Moore.
Appointment of public relations consultant Vienna Richards as "interim" news editor at Niu FM has sparked behind the
scenes controversy over allegations of potential nepotism.
Richards is sister to Su'a William Sio, deputy mayor of Manukau who will resign to stand as replacement Labour candidate
to contest the crucial Mangere electorate.
She replaces longtime news editor Lito Vilisoni, founding editor of the Pacific Radio News service. Vilisoni is being
moved to a current affairs role.
SCOOP EDITOR'S NOTE: AUT's David Robie also wrote on his Cafepacific Blog: "Sadly, Pacific Radio News - which seemed a hot new prospect on
the media scene in New Zealand last year, culminating with a commended recognition at the annual NZ Media Peace Prize
event for its coverage of the Fiji and Tonga upheavals - is now itself broiled in a crisis. PR stalwart Vienna Richards
is now in charge and the news service was dumped for a week while being "reviewed" - unheard of in the Kiwi media
scene," David Robie wrote.