Former journalist feels stabbed in the back by election recount

By Taroi Black

A veteran Māori Journalist was reduced to tears after her controversial victory to a local body position has been challenged by the person she beat. 

Former Te Karere reporter Hinerangi Goodman was sworn into the Whakatāne District Council under a cloud of controversy when she took the position in the Murupara / Galatea ward by having her name drawn out of a box after she tied with  Alison Silcock. Goodman is shocked that Silcock  is demanding a recount after she called Goodman to congratulate her on her victory.  

"You don't ring someone and congratulate them and then proceed to stab you in the back," says Goodman. 

She told Te Āo Māori News she received two phone calls of congratulations from her former opponent on Sunday and on Monday this week. 

An electoral officer contacted Goodman today to inform her about the recount. She says Silcock should have been straight up from the start and demands an apology. 

Goodman made history by becoming the first wahine Māori to be elected into the Murupara / Galatea seat, a electorate that has many Maori constituents.  In her 30 years as a Māori journalist for TVNZ, Goodman admits she experienced many years of racial discrimination in local government. The most recent drama has reminded her of tough times, she says. 

After the results had her tied with Silcock at 262 votes each, Goodman says that her mana was diminished after her name was drawn out of a box to seal her victory. 

Silcock, who has served six years in council,  says she has the right to request a judicial recount. 

"It would be nice for either one of us to be one ahead," says Silcock.

She says Local Government New Zealand need to change the way they execute a recount. . 

"I am a believer in everything being as fair as possible."