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Sudden Resignation at Te Mangai Paho


Sudden Resignation at Te Mangai Paho Raises More Questions

ACT Finance Spokesman Rodney Hide said today's sudden resignation from Te Mangai Paho (TMP) of Mr Tame Te Rangi highlighted the Clark Government's lax attitude to public spending and misbehaviour by officials.

"Two weeks ago I revealed TMP had provided Maori Sports Casting International with $534,964 of taxpayers' money over three years to provide Maori language television and radio commentaries. Nobody in Government knows who broadcasts these commentaries or who listens to them. That alone is a disgrace.

"I also revealed that Maori Sports Casting International had provided Mr Te Rangi with all-expenses paid trips to NZ Maori and All Black matches against the Wallabies in Sydney, as well as seven games in New Zealand. Maori Sports Casting International forked out $7,030 for Mr Te Rangi's travel, accommodation and meals. At the time, Mr Te Rangi's job was as Radio Manager for Te Mangai Paho overseeing contracts such as Maori Sports Casting International!

"Te Mangai Paho chief executive Trevor Moeke revealed that he had put a stop to Mr Te Rangi's participation in the broadcasts last year because of "negative perceptions".

"For his part, Minister of Maori Affairs Parekura Horomia told Parliament that he himself was "more than happy with Te Mangai Paho's handling of this situation".

"Mr Te Rangi today resigned from TMP after because of the sports commentary "matter".

Mr Te Rangi resigned at the same time that TV3 approached TMP with questions about how Mr Te Rangi came to have his job in the first place - given that he had been convicted and sentenced to five months jail for stealing nearly $40,000 from Te Runanga O Ngati-whatua while he was chairman of the Trust.

"Tonight on TV3 news, TMP CEO Mr Moeke said that if he had known about Mr Te Rangi's conviction, he would never have hired him. It seems incredible he could not have known. Mr Te Rangi's conviction was well covered in the New Zealand Herald.

"Mr Te Rangi might be off-the-hook having resigned, but his CEO and his Minister re not. They will have to face up to some serious questions from me about what checks they do on staff before hiring them, why they thought it was okay for an official to benefit out of a contract that his own department was disbursing and just what the money that Maori Sports Casting International received was spent on. The Government might think such spending and such behaviour is acceptable, but I don't," Mr Hide said.

Rodney Hide MP

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