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Te Mangai Paho boss must go


Te Mangai Paho boss must go

National's Broadcasting spokesperson Katherine Rich and ACT Finance spokesman Rodney Hide say the Government had no option but to fire Te Mangai Paho chief executive, Trevor Moeke.

"Hard on the heels of the Maori Sports Casting scandal comes news that Mr Moeke tried to 'defeat the process of the law' by asking the director of a liquidated company to obtain property that was legally meant to be sold to pay off debts to creditors," say the MPs.

"Trevor Moeke offered to smooth the way to Industry New Zealand funding for Stan Fong, the director of Maori Television contractor Slightly Off Beat Productions. All Mr Fong had to do was to secure the licences to three cartoons held by the company that Te Mangai Paho had paid $347,000 to for dubbing the cartoons into Maori.

"The trouble was the company went into voluntary liquidation on 1 February. The licences were under the control of the liquidator trying to clean up the mess and get the best deal for all creditors.

"Mr Moeke met with Mr Fong on 3 April. Mr Fong wrote an email the following day to Mr Moeke stating:

Dear Trevor

It was finally good to meet you face to face yesterday.

Confirming the points agreed upon yesterday:

Once I am able to obtain an informal agreement from Nelvana [the company owning the cartoons] agreeing to transfer the licences for the productions in TMP's name, TMP will write a letter exonerating SOB Animation Group Ltd, and myself from any wrongdoing with regards to the original Tapiripiri contract [i.e. the cartoon dubbing contract] with Slightly Off Beat Enterprises/Slightly Off Beat Productions Ltd. You will also contact David Penny of Industry New Zealand and inform him that both SOB AG and myself have been cleared.

Once I have received a letter from you I will have Nelvana draw an informal contract to give TMP the licences for the animated shows.

Kind regards Stan Fong

"Trevor Moeke replied the same day:

Stan a slight difference. Once TMP has clarity that Nelvana will transfer licences to TMP and the price is agreed, then I will undertake to clarify with Industry NZ and yourself in writing clearing your role in the Tapiripiri matters under the SOBP and SOBE contract. Thanks for the meeting and the progress. Trevor.

Mrs Rich and Mr Hide say Associate Maori Affairs Minister, John Tamihere, is right to say 'this is inappropriate activity on the part of a senior manager in continuing to deal with the director of a company in liquidation. That defeats the process of the law - or attempts to.'

"John Tamihere can tell right from wrong even if Trevor Moeke and Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia can't. Mr Moeke should have been fired following the Tame Te Rangi - Maori Sports Casting International scandal. There can't be two standards of accountability - one for Maori and one for everyone else.

"Wira Gardiner, put in by the Government to clean Te Mangai Paho up, has no option but to fire Mr Moeke.

"Tough questions also have to be asked of Jim Anderton. How was it that Industry New Zealand could be so compromised by only agreeing to fund a project if Mr Fong would secure the licences for Te Mangai Paho?

"It's sad too that TMP money has been diverted to fund a car for the perpetrators of a housing scheme that has seen many low income Maori lose their houses. John Tamihere, who's called the scheme "one of the worst conspiracies to defraud Maori people that I have ever seen" has been tracking down those behind it for months, only to discover that funding for the scheme goes right back to the very portfolio that his Minister, Parekura Horomia, is responsible for.

"Labour jumped up and down about Tuku Morgan's underpants. This is Tuku's undies souped up on four wheels.

"Trevor Moeke can't survive this. Nor can Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia. His credibility is in tatters - shot to bits not only by Opposition MPs but also by his own Associate Minister.

"We will be taking the papers now in our possession to the Auditor General and asking his office to investigate just what has been happening to the millions of dollars cycled through TMP under Parekura Horomia," say Katherine Rich and Rodney Hide.

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