Maori TV

Winston Peters, Maori TV and the stitch up, ctd

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The other week I brought you a couple of posts about a little known Maori trust that has had a few problems with how it spends $30million in taxpayer money, thanks to a couple of so-called whistleblowers.

As a result, the Ministry of Health that funds the trust, along with PWC auditors and the SFO have been crawling over Te Roopy Taurima O Manukau Trust’s files with a fine tooth comb.

When you have so-called whistleblowers, one thing you can be sure of is that somewhere along the line it will all end up at the Employment Relations Authority, with one party wanting a pay-out, and the other party essentially having to pay them off.

And a Te Roopy Taurima O Manukau Trust is no exception to the rule. Read more »

Winston Peters, Maori TV and the stitch up

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One thing certain about Winston Raymond Peters is that he never lets facts stand in the way of a good story.

Let’s take the recent case of the allegedly dodgy Maori trust Te Roopu Taurima O Manukau Trust.

Winston Peters raced out with a story in May, which by sheer coincidence happened to coincide with a so-called investigative report on Maori TV’s Native Affairs. All of this came about because a couple of fellas recently fired from the trust have decided to “get back” at the trust.

What better way to “get back” at the trust than to claim dodgy dealings and paint themselves as honest, caring whistle-blowers, and say that the only reason they were sacked was because when they tried to tell the CEO Malcolm Robson about misspending, Robson wasn’t interested.

As with all employment relations disputes where ex-employees think they’re in for a cash win-fall, the company has to play a straight bat. Robson, told Native Affairs in a statement that the employees were dismissed as a result of a pre-existing employment investigation involving “suspected breaches of employment conditions…” and that “there will be no comment on specific allegations or the individuals involved while the investigation is active.”

Sounds fair enough when you know someone’s keen on trying to extort seek a pay-out.   Read more »

Wilcox tells Labour to take a running jump

Nobody wants to sail on the SS Titanic Labour

Maori broadcaster Julian Wilcox has no plans to run for Parliament in this year’s election, Maori Television has confirmed.

The network said Mr Wilcox had made an “unequivocal statement” that he was not seeking political office for any political party in the general election.

Mr Wilcox was believed to be considering a bid for Labour’s candidacy in Tamaki Makaurau after journalist Shane Taurimu was blocked by the party last week.

Maori TV said in a statement titled “Response to Media Speculation” that Mr Wilcox remained committed to his job as general manager of news and current affairs.

Like Jones before him – Julian Wilcox has told Labour to take a running jump in the Tamaki Makaurau omni-shambles.  

Read more »

Question for our media: why don’t you ignore fabricated ‘race’ attacks?

It must be election time again, when the usual Maori political suspects need to cheaply raise their public profile.

How, what has worked in the past?

Oh, wait!

Let’s call people racists!

Iwi are to gain control of Maori Television and millions of taxpayer dollars in an election year lolly-scramble that is alarming officials.

Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples says “racist” Treasury and State Services Commission officials are trying to stop his paper going to the Cabinet next week, because they fear iwi will misspend Crown money as they allegedly did with Whanau Ora and Kohanga Reo.

The only reason these “racist” attacks keep working is because the media are happy to buy into the staged bun fight.

No exposure, no need to stoop as low as to label Treasury and State Services Commission officials as racists.   Read more »

More positioning from Jones

I’m not a regular follower of Maori Television, but the shameless Shane Jones positioning had me visiting their website today.

What is interesting, aside from the Jones positioning, is that it appears former Labour leadership contender John Tamihere has also heard the story about Goff offering to resign at the now infamous front bench meeting.

It also now appears that at the same meeting Goff was given a rocket for playing politics with the SIS briefing, then lying about it.

“It is also understood that at a caucus meeting a fortnight ago MPs Mr Jones and Lianne Dalziel criticised Mr Goff’s handling of the SIS issue.”

So, to rub salt into very raw wounds, Labour MPs are now being forced to endure Goff’s continuing denials that he offered to resign. Most Labour people that I deal with have had enough of the recidivist offending and some are obviously now talking to the MSM.

Below is the Shane Jones/John Tamihere item as it screened on Maori TV on Tuesday.  The full story makes shameless Shane’s positioning even more obvious.

As usual, Labour’s blaming the media for daring to report the fact that MPs are talking, rather than taking some responsibility for the Goff shambles themselves.

Blame the media

 

Sack Him

Rick "Oinko" Ellis

Rick "Oinko" Ellis - Trougher extraordinaire

Jonathan Marshal has once again skewered a troughing greedy little piggy, this time it is Rick Ellis the CEO of TVNZ.

TVNZ boss Rick Ellis has racked up more than $140,000 on his company plastic – including $32,000 entertaining – during a time of major redundancies at the broadcaster, a Sunday Star-Times survey of more than 100 public-sector chief executives has revealed.

Last night broadcasting minister Jonathan Coleman said he expected “restraint” from the broadcaster and would be asking for details from its chairman, Sir John Anderson.

“I’m sure all of the figures would be made available to me on Monday,” Coleman said.

Well if Jonathan Coleman can get the figures that will be interesting because….

…assessing just how Ellis spent $140,000 of TVNZ’s money was difficult. Citing commercial sensitivity, the broadcaster refused to hand over anything more than a grand total, broken down into broad categories. This included $11,765.52 on “miscellaneous” items. The broadcaster last night refused to say what they were. The ombudsman is investigating.

TVNZ spokeswoman Megan Richards said TVNZ would release only limited details of Ellis’s expenditure because “we are a commercial operation in a highly competitive, not to say cut-throat global industry. The kind of detail government departments may care to release is damaging to our competitive position.”

What a load of bollocks. This sort of obfuscation with public monies is untenable. Rick Ellis should be made to cough the details immediately as required by law. I seriously doubt a look at his credit card receipts would imperil any commercial relationship with anyone. By refusing to hand out the details it simply makes one wonder just exactly what he is hiding.

Richards said it was unfair for TVNZ to release its data when bosses of private companies Fairfax, APN, MediaWorks and Sky were not forced to.

But Maori TV CEO Jim Mather, also a state-owned enterprise boss, happily provided his credit card statements and receipts. Mather spent $19,632.53 in the same 24-month period.

Unfair…I’ll tell you what is unfair, being a taxpayer and coughing for Rick Ellis’ prodigious salary and then coughing again for $140k in expenses. It seems that yet again we have a person in the pay of the taxpayer/ratepayer who seems to think that it is a whole boat-load of fun to have us cover his every little expense. I’m glad to see too that Maori TV is a) circumspect with expenses, and b) honest and open as required by law.

If TVNZ thinks it is unfair to receive public monies and not account for it then how about we ratchet up the unfairness by selling the whole sorry-assed lot off to the highest bidder.

Rick Ellis was hired because Labour didn’t want the old plodder Ian Fraser and Rick Ellis was going to apply his technological genius to TVNZ. If that genius in business is that of another Rick Ellis who systematically rooted over Wang and EDS and has tanked revenues at TVNZ along with deploying set-top technology that no-one wants then I guess he is Labour’s man. Poor old Ian Fraser and Bill ralston were pilloried for much less, if consistency were to hold true then I would expect Labour’s broadcasting spokes-person to be calling for the hanging of Rick Ellis. Change would be a fine thing.