Shane Taurima

Shane Taurima asks Maori Party a devastating question

You remember Shane. ?He was the one running the Labour Party campaign from his TVNZ office. ?Well, the Maori Party asked him to speak at their conference. ?Where he said this

Mr Taurima spoke as part of a panel at the Maori Party AGM today, telling them they had to face up to their worst election result ever. “It is the worst result you have seen.”

He said he was not advocating doing deals “but it something you must consider.”

“I know as soon as we start talking deals things get a bit tetchy – but you need to have it on the table because things could turned out quite differently.”

He said the Maori Party also had to ask why it was that Maori voters went back to Labour – while other voters had deserted Labour in droves.

For all intent and purposes, the Maori party was annihilated except for the personal mana of one man. ?And in fact, the Maori Party has always existed on the personal mana of its MPs rather than coherent policy framework and positioning. ? Read more »

Hosking on his supposed bias

Mike Hosking writes about his supposed bias and completely destroys Cunliffe’s claims.

Right, where to start?

Last time I wrote in this esteemed organ, I proffered an idea or two as to why Labour wasn’t exactly breathing down National’s neck.

This drew a fair amount of feedback which is good, because if it didn’t, I’d be wondering why I’m even bothering to write these given I’ve got quite a bit of work on my plate these days and don’t really need extra.

One of the bits of feedback came from a Dr Michael Cullen, who for a period had his finger in the pie of running this place.

He made a good point, but I believe he also made a mistake in his reply.

The good point was the acceptance that people like me have opinions and should offer them, and when it comes to political debate this is no bad thing.

He is among an increasingly large number of people these days, if in fact not the majority, who have moved with the times and realise people who present the news often do so with accompanying commentary.

His mistake, in my view, was to then compare my role or job to that of Shane Taurima, and wonder what the difference was.

It’s important to point out here that I think Mr Cullen was suggesting I might have a certain established stance on various political matters, therefore assumptions are made on where I’m coming from.

Others have gone on in recent weeks to call that bias, but more on that in a moment.

In Cullen comparing what I do and its ensuing transparency to what Taurima did, is to shoot yourself in the foot.

What Taurima did was belong to a political party, stand for that party, raise money for that party and use taxpayer-funded facilities to do that fundraising, knowing it was explicitly against the rules and all the while running a journalistic unit that claimed neutrality.

In my opinion, Taurima was a moron.

Read more »

Why don’t they just draft JT?

The Labour party debacle in Tamaki Makaurau continues.

The Labour Party has reopened nominations for Auckland Maori seat Tamaki Makaurau, following the party’s council dismissing disgraced candidate Shane Taurima from the process.

The Party blocked the former TVNZ manager from standing in the seat after revelations by 3 News?Mr Taurima used the company’s resources?to organise Labour Party meetings. Mr Taurima resigned from his position at TVNZ following the scandal.

The council says it “regrets any adverse impact” on Mr Taurima’s professional reputation as a result of not granting a waiver to contest the candidate’s selection.

“We retain a high regard for Shane’s abilities and believe he has a positive future with our party.”

Read more »

Helping Labour out in Tamaki Makaurau

With Labour re-opening nominations for Tamaki Makaurau, I thought it might be handy to give them a help with the advertising.

Situation Vacant

Labour leader David Cunliffe is tipping the party’s ruling council will reopen nominations for the crucial Tamaki Makaurau electorate when it meets this week. ? ? 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. ?

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Trotter endorses journalists declarations of political interests

Chris Trotter is a man from the left that I admire.

I enjoy our chats from time to time and he is a good bellwether for what is happening on the left of NZ politics.

He comments on journalistic ethics and undeclared inherent political bias.

IF YOU?RE READING?this column you know already that it?s coming to you ?From the Left?. You are, therefore, free to absorb its contents with a rare foreknowledge of its author?s ideological predispositions.

But how often can you say as much? How many of the stories, columns and feature articles published every day carry such a useful consumer warning? And how easy is it, Dear Reader, in the absence of such a warning, to discern how those stories, columns and feature articles have been put together and why?

Because, make no mistake, everything you read, watch and listen to, every newspaper article, television programme and radio broadcast, has been carefully constructed by an individual, or individuals, working consciously, or unconsciously, from well-established ideological predispositions.

The information a journalist decides to include in a story is very often less important than the information he or she decides to leave out. Indeed, this is almost always the case. Because in any ?newsworthy? event there will always be many more details and contributory causes than a journalist?s employers could ever possess either the time or the space to relate.

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Fenton given the arse card, who else is next?


Darien Fenton

Darien Fenton, the face of Labour’s future and one of Cunliffe’s rising stars, was given the boot today.

Labour list MP Darien Fenton has announced she will retire from national politics after nine years in Parliament.

The staunch unionist announced this morning that she would not seek re-election in September.

“I came to Parliament with one aim, and that was to help make a better life for the low-income service workers I have worked with over many years,” she said. ?? Read more »

Brian Edwards on Shane Taurima, Linda Clark and Conflicts of Interest

My good friend Brian Edwards has this to say about Shane Taurima and his actual conflict of interest:

There was nothing terribly complex about Shane Taurima?s situation with regard to his job as Head of TVNZ?s ?Maori and Pacifica Department once he had, albeit unsuccessfully, ?sought the Labour Party nomination for the Rawhiti Ikaroa seat following the death of Parekura Horomia. Taurima had very publicly nailed his political colours to the mast. In doing so he had effectively disbarred himself from any further involvement in News or Current Affairs broadcasting with the state broadcaster. The potential conflict of interest could not have been more clear.

Television New Zealand apparently did not see it that way. Perhaps they thought that Taurima?s failure to actually win the nomination made all the difference. He had been a?would-be?Labour candidate, not an?actual?Labour candidate. ?(And, as it turned out,?would be?again.) That rationalisation is so facile as to be laughable. Taurima was politically tainted. He should not have been re-employed in his previous role. But he was.

When he took things even further and ?turned his TVNZ office into a Maori/Pacifica Labour Party branch, Taurima did his employer a favour. ?Without actually hanging portraits of Savage, Fraser and Kirk on the walls, the conflict of interest in which he and others in his department now found themselves could not have been more patent. To his credit, Taurima had the grace and good sense to resign.

He resigned because the case was so clear cut there was no other option. Unfortunately for Shane Taurima he thought Labour would stand by their electorate chair, instead they have given him the cold-face and turned their back.

There is actually nothing new about all of this. The list of television and radio? broadcasters working in news and current affairs who are or have been simultaneously engaged in activities which conflict with their obligation to be and be seen to be utterly impartial in all matters relating to their jobs, is extremely long. They may well be in the majority. Conflicts of interest among such practitioners abound.

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Herald Editorial on political affiliations for journalists

The Herald editorial is rather stern this morning, commenting on the Taurima debacle for Labour.

Shane Taurima thought he could keep his affiliation to a political party entirely separate from his journalism, and to a degree he was successful. The Prime Minister, for one, felt fairly treated by him in television interviews despite Taurima’s affiliation to the Labour Party. It is not hard to put personal views aside in the interests of objective journalism even when a subject is political. But the independent report into political bias at Television New Zealand was right to find him at fault. Partisan politics and mass media journalism do not mix.

The report found Taurima not only had a clear conflict of interest, but had used TVNZ facilities for Labour Party activities. These included a $343 credit card bill for an air fare and the use of TVNZ’s offices and email for Labour Party planning and campaigning. Clearly the problem is not confined to the former head of its Maori and Pacific programming unit. Three of his staff also participated in the party activity.

But if these misuses of company property had not occurred, Taurima’s position would still have been untenable. He not only joined the Labour Party while working in news and current affairs, he made an unsuccessful bid to be Labour’s candidate in the Ikaroa-Rawhiti byelection last year. Strangely, after missing the selection, he was able to return to his position at TVNZ. There, his continuing Labour activities reached a level that, the report says, “would plainly be deeply embarrassing to TVNZ if it came to light”.

He must have known that would be so.

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Union lobbies for journalists to continue to be fifth colunmists for Labour

You would think that the PSA would respect political neutrality, but no, instead they?are?campaigning?for the rights of TVNZ political journalists to be fifth columnists on behalf of the Labour party.

The Public Service Association (PSA) says the recommendation by a TVNZ inquiry that reporters, content producers and editors be banned from political activity is a draconian and unnecessary breach of their rights as New Zealand citizens.

Brenda Pilott, PSA National Secretary, said ?It is every New Zealander?s right to participate in our democracy.?

?The State Services Commission guidelines for public servants clearly explain the rights and responsibilities, and we hope Commissioner Rennie will speak out strongly against these unjustified restrictions.

?If these restrictions are put in place, it will set a dangerous precedent for other public servants. ? Read more »