It's a slip up that cost the former head of Māori and Pacific Programming his career.
Russell Brown Media Commentator believes, “To hold an LEC (Labour Electoral Council) meeting at TVNZ, that was unflaterably stupid.”
Shane Taurima did not wish to talk on camera, however he did provide a media statement which denied that his political affiliation to the Labour Party had any influence on any editorial decisions during his time as manager.
Te Mangai Pāho CEO John Bishara said that he held Shane's level of professionalism in high regard and accepted Shane's statement today.
According to Media and Political Commentator John Tamihere, “You cannot use and abuse your employer's resources to advance your political agenda, particularly when you're in a media house.”
An investigation into staff use of TVNZ resources to support political party activities is also underway.
Three TVNZ staff members are in question about their involvement with the activities.
Tamihere says, “The statement actually says they helped me as friends. It should of said that they helped me because I was their senior, and they considered this was part of the employment, that saves them.”
Questions are still being asked to TVNZ's Chief Executive Kevin Kenrick as to why Taurima was kept on in an editorial role following his unsuccessful bid for Ikaroa-Rāwhiti Labour candidacy last year.
He says he was assured by Taurima he had no further political ambitions. But Tamihere says this may now be his path to follow.
He says, “They didn't know about him in Ikaroa-Rāwhiti, and everybody knows that Shane Taurima is a candidate, and with respect he has nowhere to go with that nomination.”
Raewyn Rasch has been appointed as acting General Manager, a producer and journalist who has worked with the Māori and Pacific programming team for several years.