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Taurima blocked from MP contention

Tue 13 May 2014 In: New Zealand Daily News

Shane Taurima High profile gay broadcaster Shane Taurima has been barred from standing as a Labour candidate at this year's general election. The decision was announced early this morning by Labour's ruling New Zealand Council and comes after he became closely involved with the party's pre-election preparations whilst still working as a TVNZ journalist and as head of TVNZ's Maori and Pacific programming. An independent report into the matter indicated that there had been no breach of impartiality in TVNZ's programming due to Taurima's involvement with Labour but that he had improperly used TVNZ facilities to hold meetings of Labour supporters and send out related emails. He also used a company credit card to pay for an airfare to fly a person to a Labour meeting. He resigned from TVNZ over the matter in February. Taurima was expected to be a shoe-in to stand in the Tamaki Makaurau seat currently held by the Maori party's gay-friendly co-leader, Pita Sharples. As he had not been a Labour member for the required minimum of one year when the party's candidacy process began Taurima required a waiver from the requirement but late last night the waiver request was declined. He has been a member of the Labour Party since he contested the Ikaroa-Rawhiti candidacy in 2013. Both Labour president Moira Coatsworth and leader David Cunliffe have said that they believe Taurima has a future with the party.    

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Tuesday, 13th May 2014 - 9:11am

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