Taurima quits TVNZ

Last updated 19:00 17/02/2014

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A senior Television New Zealand journalist has quit amid allegations of a conflict of interest over his involvement with the Labour Party.

TVNZ head of news and current affairs John Gillespie confirmed this evening the head of TVNZ's Maori and Pacific Television unit, Shane Taurima, had resigned because of his connection to Labour.

TVNZ reported that Taurima, whose bid to be the Labour candidate in the Ikaroa Rawhiti by-election on June 29 last year failed, had attended a meeting last month in which the Labour Party was looking at how to take back the Maori vote.

Gillespie told TVNZ: "Shane understands that he can't continue to help lead our teams given his participation in a Labour focus event last month and I've accepted his resignation."

It was also reported that TVNZ was investigating a second incident in which three staff members were involved in a fundraising activity for the Labour Party in August last year using TVNZ resources and a TVNZ building.

In a statement, Labour Party president Moira Coatsworth said Taurima was not a current office holder in the New Zealand Labour Party, nor has he been nominated to become a candidate.  

"This matter concerns the relationship between Shane Taurima and his former employer TVNZ.  It is not appropriate to comment further."

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- Fairfax Media

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