The Tamihere empire

Hamiona Gray spent almost a year working as a Communications Manager for John Tamihere, so his insights should be treated as reasonably insightful.

He writes:

What became increasingly clear during my first week’s working there was that Te Pou Matakana, the Waipareira Trust, Hapai Te Hauora, and all the other ‘brands’ under this umbrella existed only on paper. In practice, they were (and remain) all the same organisation. If you worked for one, you worked for all of them. 

This is important because it is the fiction of them all being legally seperate bodies that allow them to get massive chunks of money from the Government to hand out as part of Whanau Ora, and also get massive chunks for welfare and health services.

There were other chief executives, there were several elected boards, but behind all of them was John – He was the ultimate authority. 

Now this is messy enough when they are just NGOs, but here is where it really gets conflicted.

This model gave him and them a level of plausible deniability around his involvement – Stats NZ want to get more Maori to respond to the census, but know they can’t employ an organisation led by the infamous president of a political party to do so? Contract Te Pou Matakana/WOCA to do it. 

So the same person presides over a political party and also gets large government contracts to work on behalf of the Electoral Commission, Stats NZ etc.

You may have had a contract with WOCA, but the people doing the work could be from any one of a half dozen organisations and there was no line between where and who did what. 

I must point out that this was before Tamihere merged Te Pati Maori into this mix, but it is my understanding based on conversations I’ve had that they too are just as involved in everything that happens inside the rest of the fiefdom.  

So the Maori Party is staffed and funded by the Tamihere Empire. We know this because they made illegal loans to the Maori Party. After many years of asking they were paid back, but of course it is quite possible (and legal) that they merely increased Tamihere’s salary by $500,000 a year and he used that to pay back the money.

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