Topic: Shane Taurima

TVNZ releases report into allegations of political bias

By Te Kāea

TVNZ has released it's report into allegations of political bias, the misuse of TVNZ resources and conflicts of interest.

The panel that compiled the report found no bias in any of the Māori and Pacific programmes it viewed and no evidence of bias in  Shane Taurima's Q+A interviews. However it did find the former General Manager of TVNZ’s Māori and Pacific Programmes department used TVNZ resources inappropriately.

TVNZ CEO Kevin Kenrick says, “We asked the review panel for an objective and independent review. The report is comprehensive, the conclusions are balanced, and the proposed recommendations are very actionable.”

Shane Taurima released a statement in response to the report, "I am proud of my work and my achievements in that time and I am grateful to have any doubts removed around my journalistic integrity and independence by the TVNZ Report into alleged misconduct in the Māori and Pacific programmes department" he says.

The report also found that TVNZ resources which included a meeting venue, travel, email, telephone and photocopying were used inappropriately by Mr Taurima and three members of his staff no longer employed by the organisation.

In his statement, Taurima says, "I acknowledge that it was a mistake to hold a Labour Party meeting at TVNZ. It was also a mistake to use, despite the minimal costs, other TVNZ resources such as email. In relation to the cost of these TVNZ resources which the Panel determined were negligible; I have paid back the money concerned."

The report highlighted that TVNZ failed to adequately document its discussions with Taurima after his return to work following his unsuccessful bid for Labour’s Ikaroa-Rāwhiti candidacy. This led to conflicting perceptions around what constraints had been set on his private and professional activities.

Taurima has maintained he was always up front with management at TVNZ regarding his political links, "I informed TVNZ management about my links to the Labour Party."

Kenrick says, “I accept that there were shortcomings in our management of Shane when he returned to TVNZ, and that won’t happen again.”

Wayne Walden, Chairman of the TVNZ Board of Directors also released a statement today saying, "The Board is pleased to note that there is no evidence to support claims of political bias in TVNZ content. While there has clearly been inappropriate use of TVNZ resources to further party political aims, this appears to have been relatively small scale and confined to the activities and aspirations of a single individual and his supporters."

Te Kaea will have more details tonight.