The Herald reports:
A review into the misuse of TVNZ 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.
Shane Taurima, 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?