Taurima not bias but did misuse company resources

By Wepiha Te Kanawa

The report on the former General Manager of TVNZ's Māori and Pacific Programmes department, Shane Taurima says he did misuse company resources for political activities with the Labour Party but has cleared him of any political bias in editorial content.

Taurima resigned from his position at TVNZ when 3 News reported on his involvement in a Labour Party strategy hui and fundraising meeting held at TVNZ involving company staff and resources.

The panel also questioned Taurima's decision to use TVNZ money to fly Heni Tawhiwhirangi from Gisborne to Auckland.

Taurima claims that he was meeting with Tawhiwhirangi to discuss a business opportunity but the panel are questioning the timing, as Taurima held a Labour party meeting at his home which she also attended.

The panel have found Taurima explanation unsatisfactory and have asked him to pay back the incurred cost of $334.43.

The panel believes Taurima should have made it more clear to his bosses at TVNZ of his extent involvement in the Labour Party.

The investigation also looked into the involvement of three other staff members who were working in the Māori and Pacific Programmes when Taurima was the General Manager.

The report says they also got themselves into a position of conflict of interest. All three no longer work at TVNZ.

Taurima has put his name forward as a possible candidate for the Labour party in Tāmaki Makaurau. He is up against Will Flavell.

Now the report has been released Labour leader wouldn't rule him out. Labour hasn't yet indicated when they will pick their Auckland electorate.

The big question is where will Shane go now?