Shane Taurima has released a statement in which he categorically denies his political affiliations had any influence on editorial decisions during his time as General Manager of Māori and Pacific programming at TVNZ.
Taurima’s decision to resign followed revelations which aired on 3 News claiming he used TVNZ premises and members of his staff to organise meetings to help bolster his political aspirations with Labour.
3 News also revealed three members of his staff are under investigation for assisting in the organisation of a meeting of Labour members which included a discussion facilitated by Taurima focused on ‘how to get the Māori vote’.
In his statement Taurima goes on to say, “I respect that an internal investigation is underway into the actions of three of my former colleagues and my heart goes out to them at this time. I have seen the word activist used to describe my now former work colleagues. They are not activists. They are passionate friends and people that I love and respect who committed to provide some support to me. They are wonderful people whose enthusiasm led to some poorly considered decisions. Decisions that were not to benefit them individually.”
Last year Taurima failed in his bid to run for Labour in the Ikaroa-Rāwhiti by-election, however still held aspirations of becoming a politician and says his employer was aware that he remained an active member of the Labour party.
Despite speculation over what he intends to do now he ends his statement with an apology and says , “I have made no decisions around my future."