Mike Tana calls for formal investigation into council elections

By Tema Hemi

Former Porirua Mayor Mike Tana is calling for a formal investigation into the leaked emails to media by the chief executive outlining concerns about 'unusual' spending. However, the Chief Executive has undertaken an internal review of the email traffic surrounding the leak of information and can confirm that there was no release of her confidential email to councilors from staff. 

Mike Tana is still walking his talk but feels let down and hard done by the system.

Tana says, "This was a very simple employment issue and it could have and it could of very simply been resolved if it hadn't of been leaked."

Tana claims he was slandered by media in the final week of local body elections up until election day. 

Tana also says, "Even though there's been a number of things poured out in the media and I feel erroneously, not one of those things have actually come to anything. I wouldn’t make that comment myself but people have drawn that from what’s happened here."

In a statement from the Porirua City Council to Te Ao Māori today it says: 

“Porirua City Council chief executive Wendy Walker has clarified the facts around the investigation into Mayor Mike Tana's petrol card use. Walker says on numerous occasions Tana did not comply to request nor meet any deadlines per those request to provide evidence to explain his unusual spending. Walker has not received a formal request from Tana to undertake an investigation.”

But Tana says otherwise, "I have directed the CE Wendy Walker to investigate both the leak to which I think is the most serious part of this case because it was leaked out of a forum of councilors where four of them were running against me. She said that she hadn't received it. I sent it on Monday so I've resent it again today."

Walker also states:

"I have undertaken an internal review of the email traffic surrounding the leak of information and can confirm that there was no release of my confidential email to councilors from staff."  

Tana responds, "She definitely has an obligation to make sure that those anomalies were answered to I don't believe the way that she did it actually gave her a moral ability or a duty care both to me and to the process."

In the statement Walker also says Mayor Tana was given over two and a half weeks to respond to the Chief Executive's requests to explain his unusually frequent petrol card transactions.  

Tana says in closing, "I really accept if we can show that these elections were fair and that the process that I was put through was fair and the way that it was put out was fair. I accept what the people of Porirua have said." 

It appears that this issue still has a way to go before being resolved.