Patrick Gower reports at 3 News:
The Labour Party faithful have queued up to get into their party conference in Auckland this evening.
All members are welcome except one – the prodigal son, John Tamihere – who has not been allowed to return.
“It’s a bit like joining the Head Hunters,” he says, “as I’m trying to walk through, trying to get my membership, they are all there beating you – it’s a bit like a gang, a gang initiation”.
Yes, that’s right, Mr Tamihere compares the Labour Party to the Head Hunters, Auckland’s most feared gang. That’s because while he’s paid his membership fees and wants to be an MP again, his colourful past – including a Serious Fraud Office investigation – means that membership is yet to be approved by the party hierarchy.
He says he is being blocked by forces from within.
So Tamihere isn’t even allowed to attend the conference despite having been a Labour Party Cabinet Minister!
3 News tried to talk to Labour Party member Shane Te Pou about Mr Tamihere, but found the door closed. Mr Te Pou was a key figure in the Bill Liu citizenship controversy – a series of events currently under investigation by the Auditor-General. But while Mr Te Pou is allowed into the conference, Mr Tamihere isn’t.
Of course Shane is welcome – he is a Labour Party fundraiser!