Will Taurima sue Labour?

May 16th, 2014 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

writes:

Did the Party fail to follow fair process such that its decision not to allow to contest the candidacy for Auckland’s Tamaki Makaurau seat can be challenged in the courts, or did TVNZ’s report into Mr Taurima’s behaviour justify the party council’s decision?

Allegations have been made by Shane Taurima’s advocate that the Labour Party used the excuse of the TVNZ review of Mr Taurima’s alleged conflict of interest to side-line him in favour of another higher-profile candidate, Julian Wilcox from Maori Television. I do not know the truth of these allegations. But I have read the TVNZ report, and I can tell you what the courts can do if a political party has not followed the process in its own constitution. …

Although, the Labour Party is unincorporated, the courts can intervene to ensure it followed its own constitution. Rule 240 of the Labour constitution says “Any bona fide member of the Party or Affiliated member of the New Zealand Labour Party for at least one year immediately prior to the date of the calling for nominations shall be eligible for nomination as a parliamentary candidate.” So Mr Taurima was prima facie ineligible because he had not been a member long enough.

But Rule 241 states that “Waivers to the length of membership requirement may be granted by the New Zealand Council. The selection meeting shall be notified of any waiver granted for any nominee seeking selection at that meeting. Such notification shall be provided formally in the notice to nominees and the notice to the local party members about the selection meeting and verbally by the chair both before and after all nominees have addressed the meeting.”

The Labour Party Council resolved that granting Mr Taurima the waiver was not in the best interests of the party, and in reaching that resolution took into account the contents and conclusions of the TVNZ report. It has been suggested Mr Taurima might take the matter to the courts. But courts have traditionally been wary of substituting their judgment for that of a political party on matters political.

I doubt Taurima will take Labour to court, let alone win. But some are unhappy. RNZ reports:

A former Labour MP for Tamaki Makaurau has accused the Labour Party president of abusing her power over the Shane Taurima case. It follows a request from the Tamaki Makaurau electorate committee for a review of the Labour national council decision not to let Mr Taurima stand.

told Morning Report that independent sources have confirmed party president Moira Coatsworth met with another broadcaster, Julian Wilcox.

“It’s OK for a president to shoulder tap a high profile candidate or nominee like a Wilcox, but where it goes a bit awry is when you use your authority and power to then skew the scrum completely by taking out a major adversary on the pretext of an error of judgement in his employment” he said.

Mr Tamihere went on to say he believed Mr Taurima had good grounds for a judicial review of the Labour Council decision.

Matthew Hooton in a paywalled article at NBR notes that almost all of the Labour Party hierarchy must have known Shane was running the Tamaki Makaurau electorate out of TVNZ. The leader even attended a hui hosted by Taurima. So can they use the report to veto him, when they had implicitly condoned his activities previously?

UPDATE: In the article by Mai Chen, there is a section I did not quote (as it is on another topic) but has caused some confusion. Mai has said the disclosure limit for donations is $14,999 for parties and 1,499 for candidates. This is saying that donations of $15,000 and $1,500 must have their identities disclosed. This is incorrect. It is donations *in excess* of $15,000 and $1,500 respectively that must have the donor disclosed.

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10 Responses to “Will Taurima sue Labour?”

  1. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,790 comments) says:

    Yes, Hooton is onto the real issue here. One which the lapdog media have not touched.

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  2. queenstfarmer (742 comments) says:

    Matthew Hooton in a paywalled article at NBR notes that almost all of the Labour Party hierarchy must have known Shane was running the Tamaki Makaurau electorate out of TVNZ

    This is the real issue. Labour has been accusing Judith Collins of “corrupution” for using allegedly using a small part of a state-funded trip for personal gain (with no evidence).

    Labour was busted committing ongoing theft of TVNZ state resources for political gain.

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  3. martinh (1,155 comments) says:

    theres a big difference between going to a hui hosted by him to concluding that he runs the electorate out of TVNZ.
    Not sure where Tamihere gets off saying they cant use his erros against him, sems like what you should actually do.
    That labour party president is really weak so i wouldnt be surprised if its a move against her.
    She to me embodies all ive come to dislike about labour,a new age socialist pakeha who uses maori words whenever she can ad has no grip on anything apart from her minority interests

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  4. AG (1,759 comments) says:

    John Tamihere told Morning Report that independent sources have confirmed party president Moira Coatsworth met with another broadcaster, Julian Wilcox.

    “It’s OK for a president to shoulder tap a high profile candidate or nominee like a Wilcox, but where it goes a bit awry is when you use your authority and power to then skew the scrum completely by taking out a major adversary on the pretext of an error of judgement in his employment” he said.

    Well, given that Taurima’s woes at TVNZ date back to February, it’s hardly surprising that Labour went looking for someone else to put up in Tamaki Makaurau seat should the report into his actions come back negative! And is anyone here actually saying that Taurima could be a credible candidate following the release of that report? That his entire time on the campaign trail, if they chose him, would not be dogged by the charge “you stole TVNZ resources to get this job!”? C’mon … that’s a wet dream for this site!!!

    So does anyone really think Taurima was nobbled to make way for Wilcox, rather than that Wilcox (may) be brought in to replace a hopelessly compromised Taurima? And if you put aside your ideological glasses for just one moment, can anyone say that their perferred party of choice wouldn’t do exactly the same thing?

    Matthew Hooton in a paywalled article at NBR notes that almost all of the Labour Party hierarchy must have known Shane was running the Tamaki Makaurau electorate out of TVNZ. The leader even attended a hui hosted by Taurima. So can they use the report to veto him, when they had implicitly condoned his activities previously?

    Well, yes! Because now it is out in the open, it would look even worse for the party if Taurima were chosen as their candidate and they have to got through the whole campaign answering “who knew what when about his activities?” All very unfair to Mr Taurima, of course … but welcome to politics 101!!!

    FWIIW, I’ll take just about any wager folks care to name that Taurima won’t fight this in court. Because even if he wins, he still loses. No party is going to embrace an individual who tries to use the courts to force them to accept them, and Labour’s central office holds 3 of the 7 votes as to who gets to be the candidate.

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  5. kiwi in america (2,432 comments) says:

    The “we didn’t know” line would never withstand any reasonable journalistic scrutiny. Clause 37 of the TVNZ Independent Report states “Our searches turned up hundreds of emails to and from their TVNZ accounts that dealt with their activities for the Labour Party”. These were to Labour Party members and all designed to support Taurima’s quest for the Tamaki Makaurau nomination. The winning back of this seat off the Maori Party is one of Labour’s key goals in the 2014 election and the likely candidates for the nomination would’ve been of extreme interest to Cunliffe, his office, Coatsworth, the NZ Council and senior Labour strategists. Taurima and his team maneuvering for the nomination inside TVNZ would be seen by many inside Labour as a feature not a bug!

    Tamihere knows this hence his speaking out. It is doubtful that a judicial review will be sought – most are $10,000 wet bus tickets that have little compelling legal effect aside from embarrassment. Taurima will be forced to swallow this rat undoubtedly for the vague promise of a list placing or another winnable seat nomination at the next election in exchange for his acquiescence. Let’s hope Matthew Hooten keeps up his enquiries as the MSM are in ‘move along-nothing more to see here’ mode.

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  6. slightlyrighty (2,496 comments) says:

    The current actions of Labour in their witch hunt of cabinet ministers for the smallest perceived infraction require that Labour portray themselves as some sort of parliamentary puritans.

    With this in mind even the appearance of impropriety must be hunted down and excised with puritanical fervor. Taurima has effectively been sacrificed in order to preserve this perception.

    Here are the party officials in actions.

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  7. thedavincimode (6,527 comments) says:

    ring .. ring

    Taurima: “Hello?”

    Cunners: “Ki ora bro’; it’s Dave here myte”

    Taurima: “Dave who?”

    Cunners: “Dave Cunliffe bro’!”

    Taurima: “Oh; ki ora David.”

    Cunners: “Hey bro’; I heard you fellas gonna sue us over this selection thing eh!”

    Taurima: “Well, I don’t know where you got that from David. We haven’t made any such decision.”

    Cunners: “Chur bro’! Hey; no need for that eh! Just you sit tight eh bro’. We’ll sort sumpfing for next time. Maybe we put you on the war room payroll now, and then next time give you the choice nomination. Things will be kapai then myte! But straightaway you get on the payroll. What do you think eh bro’?

    Taurima: “Uhh, OK, I’ll think about David.”

    click

    Cunners: “Churrr!”

    Cunners: “Bro’? Are you there bro’?”

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  8. tvb (4,196 comments) says:

    Of course Taurima was running the branch out of TVNZ HQ and he knew his political activity was incompatible with his role in TVNZ and the assurances he gave about his political intentions. He had a damn good job in TVNZ, a damn good job, no doubt very well paid as well. Now he has blown that and ended up with nothing and he is damaging Labour’s chances in the seat. It is not as if he is the ideal candidate anyway. I guess he will pop up somewhere, he is obviously a talented broadcaster if he sees his future in Television.

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  9. Paulus (2,493 comments) says:

    Was not Taurima running three Labour Party Branches from TVNZ?
    And Coatsworth and Timmy Barnett did not know – Yea !
    Of course Taurima will be back soon – he is a Maori, a Television personality, and a homosexual, I believe.
    Perfect for Labour.

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  10. RF (1,261 comments) says:

    Tim Barnett knew but turned a Nelsons eye.

    Even thumb head cunliffe knew and did not give a toss as he is so up himself

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