TVNZ executive mismanagement of Taurima excuse for purge

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Shane slinks off into the sunset at the end of the movie (a lone kid shouts: Shane, come back!).  He’s wounded, he’s either off to die or to reappear in a sequel, but surely it is to die.  Shane Taurima ditto – but for TV.

3News reported last night that TVNZ offices were used to host a meeting of Labour’s Tamaki Makaurau branch last year.
TVNZ staff emails were also used to organise a subsequent hui in January this year which Labour leader David Cunliffe and several others MPs attended.
Mr Taurima, the head of TVNZ’s Maori and Pacific unit, had acted as a facilitator in a discussion about the Maori vote at that January hui and three other TVNZ staff were also invited.
Bad call with the hui.  Bad lapse with the email.  Bad look for TVNZ.  Bad start for Taurima with Labour.  The party meeting last month in which Taurima facilitated and Cunliffe attended is just plainly incompatible with his position as a journalist expected to interview people such as Cunliffe – and all of them: Taurima, Cunliffe and TVNZ executives – should have recognised this long before then.
But the way TVNZ management has gone about dealing with it make Taurima’s perfunctory, textbook 101 official response and instant contrition (without actually conceding any point of culpability) look glowing in comparison with their actions.
The three staff members in Taurima’s unit are being hung out to dry by his boss TVNZ Head of News and Current Affairs.  His comments to media are unprofessional and prejudicial to any internal investigation.  I find these comments extraordinary – he is talking it up like it was a news spin, going on like it was the end of the world.  Compare this to his reticence in the original response to Paddy Gower that has just been putonline at TV3 about a need for a meeting to discuss this last night.  That meeting must have been held by the way he’s talking, but if it has not then it is just further evidence of his incompetent handling of this.
NZ Herald:
TVNZ head of news John Gillespie said the events reflected badly on the whole of TVNZ.
“I have to say that we are gutted by that…we take our editorial independence incredibly seriously – it’s a cornerstone of what we do here everyday, it always will be a cornerstone of what we do here every day.
“These people have nailed their political colours to a TVNZ mast. It is untenable.”
He said an investigation would look into whether there were any other anomalies.
It is the staff who are being nailed here without being able to respond.  The political pressure from a National government must be palpable.
Can’t recall the Broadcasting Minister intervening with the Chairman of the TVNZ board and the CEO when it was Mike Hosking and his Sky City backhanders? Funny that. How the Nats and the conservative Pakeha consider one thing scandalous and another thing – that just involves a Pakeha show pony for example – isn’t. What was TVNZ management’s first day reaction to the Tony Veitch girlfriend-bashing revelations? They kept him on air like nothing had fucking happened! Compare this to Taurima’s treatment. Gone before lunchtime? Gone before dinner the previous day – that’s how fast when a Maori fucks up. A white guy would have to actually kill his misses rather than just put her in hospital to get fired as fast as a Maori for doing something he was led by management that he could do. The staff under him have acted inappropriately in two instances definitely, but that is a matter for an employment investigation not a witch-hunt to purge the card-carrying Lefties out of TVNZ.  The wrong decision was firstly, foremostly and primarily that of Taurima’s management – the CEO – who allowed Taurima to continue as a General Manager after his unsuccessful contest of the Ikaroa-Rawhiti Labour nomination.  Taurima publicly professed determination to seek nomination for Labour in the upcoming election. Astoundingly everyone was cool with that. This is why Gillispie is hanging these three out – as a defensive reaction to place blame away from himself and on sackable underlings. The alternative is that it is his job on the line for such poor judgement. It is ultimately his responsibility and he should be accountable for it.

 

 

First published on Tumeke

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13 COMMENTS

  1. Trumped up as a news article to satisfy the blood lust aroused by all that cricket bullshit.
    Witch-hunt was the first word which sprang to mind, followed by.. huh? wtf? maybe it’s a distraction to deflect attention from the student loan amendment bill aiming to make students into criminals. They’re passing it now, kids.
    The reaction to some procedural blunders, so OTT it’s pathetic. National MPs look needy engaging in this kind of retributional point scoring.
    Racist much. Indeed.
    Oh no, I criticised cricket (sigh)

  2. Got it in one, Tim.

    When a white guy f**ks up, it’s a matter of due process.

    But when an uppity brown boy stuff’s up… well, lynchings aren’t legal any more so nek best thing; the sack!

  3. Doesn’t Hosking have political bias? And he gets to play on Sven Sharp.
    What about Henry? An ex candidate for the Nats who act as cheerleader for the right wing.

  4. Why is it when something like this happens you have to drag up ethnicity. Thats got nothing to do with it and that attitude is why we will never be one. The only other thing I will say is you try to justify it by saying What about Hoskings Sky City backhander. Well I never saw you chastising Len Brown for his backhanders from Sky City or the huge bill he has lumped on ratepayers for his sordid affair and goings on that has made Auckland a laughing stock and brought shame on the office of mayor.

    • Are you sure things happened that way, Brian?! Or are you just engaging in a truckload of BS.

      Yup, BS.

      I guess if you have no firm argument to present, just make up any ole crap.

      The thing is though, you’re in the wrong place if you thing it’ll be swallowed.

  5. Quote from above: “The three staff members in Taurima’s unit are being hung out to dry by his boss TVNZ Head of News and Current Affairs. His comments to media are unprofessional and prejudicial to any internal investigation. I find these comments extraordinary – he is talking it up like it was a news spin, going on like it was the end of the world. Compare this to his reticence in the original response to Paddy Gower that has just been putonline at TV3 about a need for a meeting to discuss this last night. That meeting must have been held by the way he’s talking, but if it has not then it is just further evidence of his incompetent handling of this.”

    Who is passing “sealed envelopes” to Patrick Gower, I ask?

    What is all this about? Someone leaked something, and some info indicates some inappropriate conduct and conflict of interest by Shane Taurima, but how serious and “great” is all this, really?

    Pat Gower presents it like a “Watergate” like scandal, like a “huge revelation”, like TVNZ is “infested” with Labour party activists, is out of control and the likes. Naturally TV3 have little love left for their main competitor, so that comes into play also. Forget also not, that Gower had been put on notice mid last year, to shape up or ship out at TV3 News.

    He is slowly sinking to “sewer” journalism level too, it seems, and one wonders, has he an agenda, is he out to do all to sink Labour, to damage the opposition, by bringing in “connections” between what happened at TVNZ and David Cunliffe? Remember his exaggerated reporting on the Labour leadership challenge over 2 years ago, and many other “spin stories” he brought.

    And the most astonishing thing about all this is, how casual and relaxed John Key and the Minister for Broadcasting are about it all. It seems they are not at all worried about this incident and development.

    So it would play in well with any agenda to once and for all sell TVNZ, to privatise it, or to at least use the incident as a reason to do a “cleansing” of the staff ranks inside. A purge of any suspected Labour supporters, left or liberal leaning staff members, who may be leaning too much towards favouring the opposition during the election campaign.

    Is this all a coincidence, that this now comes out at this time, early in election year, while much of the information was known last year?

    Let us wait and see what else will surface, as we will only have just scratched the surface, and let us see also, what TV3, Gower and Co are up to.

    This seems to be leaked info, that exposed the misconduct by Shane Taurima, but TV3 and others can also use the Official Information Act to dig into what goes on at TVNZ, while the same law cannot be used to get info on what goes on at Media Works and TV3! It is a private enterprise and does not fall under the OIA. So there is a disadvantage for TVNZ and any public broadcaster, being more transparent, while private, corporate media can hide behind privacy and other legislation.

    • The Nats will be out of luck if that is their agenda (to privatise TVNZ).

      Just as no way will the pucblic allow privatisation of NZ On Air simply because Key planted his electorate chairperson – Stephen McElrea – onto NZOA’s Board. And then McElrea tried to influence NZOA funding decisions on programmes that his Party did not agree with.

      Party political broadcaster
      He may have industry experience, but is it appropriate for National Party member Stephen McElrea to sit on the board of NZ On Air?

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10783305

      • I don’t think National is contemplating privatising TVNZ or Radio NZ anymore. They have realised this is too hard, and discovered that it is even better just to keep them but have your own people run them.

  6. This smacks of a hatchet job by team National. The spin department had Shane’s measure nicely tucked away in their back pocket really to unleash when it suited. That time is now.

    Come on team Labour what on Earth were you thinking? Would Helen Clark have rocked on down to a meeting at the state broadcaster, not on your life.

    Look I know opposition parties don’t have the deep pockets of the wealthy Nats, and conduct meetings in Church halls, Union rooms, basically anyway cheap. But come on if you work for the State like I do, you simply steer clear of anything that can be used against you. This is basic 101 stuff, especially in election year for Christ sake. Very disappointed at the total lack of judgement here.

    Moving on, no better way to frighten off unfavorable coverage of the National Government than cry ‘biased’ coverage .
    What gave me a laugh was no one is team National bothered to inform Parata who come out in defense of Shane, dampening Collins, Bennett & idiot Tau’s admonishments.

    How timely that the public broadcaster has the annual review upcoming shortly. I sense the big stick is coming out don’t you?

  7. Ironic isn’t it when we have a John Key appointed person Stephen McElrea on the Board of NZOA.

    Its a bit like the pot calling the kettle black.

    National GOOD Labour BAD

  8. Big Tory clean up in the run up to the Election, National have been able to manipulate the media and the minds of the NZ Public over the past two elections it sticks out like dogs b*lls what is happening here.

    Very clever work by Paddy Gower and the Tory Media Advisors, expect more dirt from where this came from.

    This thing is being blown out of proportion, hopefully all the pro Tory Party journalists ie Corin Dann, Mike Hoskings and Paul Henry are going to be objective in their reporting from now on otherwise they should be down the road also.

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