The TVNZ inquiry

February 25th, 2014 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

A review into the misuse of company resources and alleged political bias will get underway this week with the involvement of media law expert Steven Price and respected broadcasting figure Bill Francis.

, head of the state broadcaster’s Maori and Pacific unit, resigned last week over his ties to the Labour Party.

The panel will investigate the inappropriate use of TVNZ resources for political means over the last year, and also determine whether any “obvious political bias” can be identified in the department’s programmes or in Q+A interviews conducted by Taurima.

I hope the investigation is thorough.

The e-mails showing the activities of four or more staff to assist Labour were revealed only because an external recipient presumably leaked them. The first thing I want to know is how many more e-mails were sent from or between TVNZ staff discussing how to help Labour.  The inquiry should at a minimum inspect all e-mails to and from those staff over the last year.

I understand that TVNZ has a rule that staff in their news and currents affairs section can not be a member of a political party. This seems a sensible rule. Will the inquiry look at how many staff are in breach of that rule?

Taurima only told TVNZ in the last week or two that he was considering standing for Parliament again. Is there any evidence to show that he has intended standing for long before he declared his intention?

How did such a high proportion of the Maori unit end up active members of a political party. Did Taurima recruit them?

It is rumoured another TVNZ news and current affairs staff member is about to declare their intention to be a Labour Party candidate. Are they currently a party member?

Tags: ,

21 Responses to “The TVNZ inquiry”

  1. Barnsley Bill (983 comments) says:

    Who was the genius who selected and approved of Steven Price being put on the review team. Helen Clarks government in exile keeps rolling on.

    Vote: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    Pity they weren’t also assessing radio, print, Tv3, etc. These are now empires built of left-wing bludgers, disguising themselves as journos. It is a damn shame to see how low the media have sunk since being hijacked by unionised, left-wing, envious losers.

    Vote: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    The involvement of Steven Price taints the investigation IMHO – he is not himself politically neutral and so not likely to be able to recognise political bias when it chimes with his worldview. He’s lkely to see it as simple ‘common sense’.

    Vote: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. BeaB (2,144 comments) says:

    You should be able to trust your senior management. You should also be able to trust them to manage their staff properly.

    When you have guys who tell their employers lies and cheat them out of the basic loyalty they are owed it’s no wonder high trust environments are disappearing.

    Shane Taurima has shown himself to be unfit for public office through his deceit, appalling judgement, arrogance and failure of leadership.

    Vote: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. Reid (16,632 comments) says:

    Who was the genius who selected and approved of Steven Price being put on the review team.

    Yeah it’s fox/henhouse stuff ain’t it. And dumb too, real dumb. Since when is a media organisation not extraordinarily and acutely sensitive to the ‘seen to be done’ dynamic? I mean, that’s an angle they assess and report on, all the time, whenever any enquiry is setup that merits media coverage. And for these guys to appoint someone like Price to their own enquiry, indicates they either think the public are all idiots or that they really do think that Price isn’t tainted with the lefty brush. Which shows either extraordinary arrogance or extraordinary blindness, so which is it?

    The inquiry should at a minimum inspect all e-mails to and from those staff over the last year.

    You mean emails from just those four or from all staff? Why not hand over TVNZ’s complete email data to say EY and have them look at it. The reason those organisations are hired for this sort of work is because their reputations are on the line if they miss something or breach confidentiality. Since we own this company we deserve transparency in this, rather than face what looks a lot like an in-house jack-up in the making.

    Vote: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. peterwn (3,304 comments) says:

    Stephen Price is a practicing barrister and is bound by Law Society ethics with regard to the investigation. As such he is obliged to operate impartially within the terms of reference he is given. I would say that TVNZ is under no illusion that it needs to investigate things properly, otherwise TVNZ could face a significant shake-up and budget cut.

    Arguably to date John Key and co have been too accommodating with various Government organisations and their board memberships that seem ‘unfriendly’ to the government. Helen Clark’s government showed far less tolerance.

    Vote: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. Barnsley Bill (983 comments) says:

    Helen Clark ensured that hundreds of fellow travelers were in place prior to her regime being given the arse card.
    National would need to govern for another twenty years to finally clean them all out.

    Vote: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. backster (2,184 comments) says:

    As recently as yesterday Red Radio news commenting on the misdeeds of Lombard Finance stated eloquently that former National Minister of Justice Graham was one of the four directors, yet failed to mention that one Jeffries a former Labour minister of Justice was another of the directors. ( Both scoundrels in my view)

    Vote: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. DJP6-25 (1,389 comments) says:

    It’s the perfect excuse to deprive TVNZ of their news and current affairs branch. Just have them provide ‘entertainment’. However, National don’t have the will to do it.

    Vote: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    @peterwn the mere fact of being a barrister doesn’t make you superimmune to human nature and, in particular, confirmation bias. It’s no good trying to take an impartial approach to something when you’re fundamentally partial on a particular matter. You won’t just won’t see it.

    Vote: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    “Shane Taurima is a practicing journalist and is bound by journalistic ethics with regard to reporting the news. As such he is obliged to operate impartially within the terms of his assignments from TVNZ…”

    Vote: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  12. burt (8,311 comments) says:

    Investigation into Labour party corruption being conducted by Labour party faithful – who would have guessed that from the state broadcaster …. Sell it !!!!!

    Vote: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  13. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    Time has arrived when there should be a register of political interests, pertaining to senior journalists, in all media. Of late, the misinformation, and deleted facts in some of our political news has been astounding. Radio NZ, TVNZ, Tv3, Fairfax, APN, being responsible for misleading us continuously, to give a left-wing slant on anything of interest. It is rumoured the editor of Fairfax publication Manawatu Standard, is actually a Labour Party member, which wouldn’t surprise me, as he continually promotes the hapless Lees-Galloway at every opportunity. This is the type of biased rubbish which is used to try and influence voters . . . it is wrong.

    Vote: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  14. burt (8,311 comments) says:

    reid

    Since we own this company we deserve transparency in this, rather than face what looks a lot like an in-house jack-up in the making.

    Labour own it – we just fund it ! Ain’t socialism wonderful !

    Vote: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  15. burt (8,311 comments) says:

    igm

    It’s different when Labour do it !

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  16. Martin Gibson (247 comments) says:

    While we’re on the subject, perhaps we could find out how many government-funded community environment centres are used by Green Party campaigners. I got chased out of the one here back in hulun’s day by a menopausal mafia of angry white middle aged greenies. Argument to action ratio was huge and there was about $140k a year washing through it in a town of 40,000.

    Vote: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  17. Random Punter (77 comments) says:

    Steven Price…adviser to Nicky Hager, has acted for David Cunliffe and Valerie Morse. Hmmm?

    Vote: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  18. Keeping Stock (10,414 comments) says:

    It is rumoured another TVNZ news and current affairs staff member is about to declare their intention to be a Labour Party candidate. Are they currently a party member?

    Former Breakfast weatherman, Dancing With the Stars winner and New Zealand’s Got Talent host Tamati Coffey has been head-hunted by Tim Barnett with a view to standing for Labour in the Maori electorate of Waiariki. Is he the TVNZ staffer to whom you refer DPF, or is there ANOTHER TVNZ staffer ready to stand for Labour?

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  19. double d (225 comments) says:

    I hope this is true. Tamati is another hopelessly out-of-his-depth generation I wanna be who has no real life experience. Did you ever see him interview people? Very poor general knowledge and a very ……. Left view of the world.

    He is “liked” but is he what we want from our politicians.

    REALLY LABOUR – is this the plan?

    Popular weather readers with limited life experience?

    Ticks a lot of boxes in the ” what it takes to be a labour politician in the 21st century

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  20. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    Steven Price is a left-winger, and a radical, dangerous one to boot.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  21. Steven Price (4 comments) says:

    >Steven Price…adviser to Nicky Hager, has acted for David Cunliffe and Valerie Morse. Hmmm?

    You forgot Russel Norman. Oh, and Bill English and Matthew Hooten have emailed me about Official Information Act issues (though I haven’t ever actually acted for either of them).

    I think TVNZ were probably relying on the fact that I’m the author of a textbook on media ethics, and have acted for complainants against most of NZ’s leading broadcasters, often on matters involving fairness and balance.

    I think it would come as news to Helen Clark that I’m a member of her government in exile, given how often I criticised her government.

    I’m a bit mystified about the dangerous radical stuff too. But I think it makes me sound piratical.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote