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John Tamihere - Personal Statement - Allegations

John Tamihere - Personal Statement - Allegations

6 JULY 2000

JOHN TAMIHERE - PERSONAL STATEMENT - ALLEGATIONS


JOHN TAMIHERE (NZ Labour – Hauraki): I seek the leave of the house to make a personal statement in relation to allegations that have been circulated about me, which I consider impugn my integrity as a member of this House.

A letter was tabled in this House alleging forgery and fraud. In that regard, it implied that there were past events that linked me to those actions. That is a matter of fact in this House. No evidence to substantiate those claims was ever presented. Similar allegations have once again been circulated to the media, and others by way of an anonymous fax, were brought to my attention this afternoon.

A new standard has been set on the basis of responding to allegations, and I seek to clear up this issue. In 1981, I was appointed as secretary of a marae committee.

In 1988 that committee applied to Housing Corporation for finance to build 3 Kaumatua houses. That finance was approved by the Housing Corporation.

In 1989 leases on the land for the houses were signed, and building contracts entered into by the marae trustees all signed and executed. A resolution was passed authorising me to undertake all further matters necessary to complete the housing project.

In March of 1990 the houses were completed and paid for.

In May 1990 documents were required to be signed by the marae trustees to finalise documentation on the properties, specifically a deed of acknowledgement of debt between the trustees and the Housing Corporation.

Two trustees were out of Auckland at the time and as secretary, I signed the documentation in their place.

In August 1990 a dispute arose between members of the Trust, and one of the trustees alleged that signatures on the deed of acknowledgement of debt had been forged.

These allegations lead to claims that the train of documents giving security could be voided. That matter went before the Mäori Land Court.

In 1992 the Mäori Land Court upheld the transactions.

In 1993 the allegations of forgery went before the Auckland District Law Society which heard the case. While it determined that some of my actions were inappropriate, it did not determine to strike me off.

In 1995 the police took a prosecution in regard to the forgery allegations. The outcome of this case was that I was discharged without conviction. The court ordered that all aspects of the case be suppressed on the basis of the range of people of high standing who gave evidence, and the like.

Therefore the accusations that have been made by way of an anonymous facsimile have all been considered by the formal authorities and have all been judged to be without substance.

In terms of the anonymous allegations about being drunk in charge that were made, I accept those. I do not have a problem. I am just trying to fess up here.

In effect, I am saying that I have been audited, inquired into, investigated, and prosecuted, but at no time – and I state quite categorically to this House, have I a conviction against the Crimes Act, nor have I been struck off.

These are the allegations that have been made.

Finally, running the gauntlet of these audits, investigations, inquiries, and prosecutions, I have to say that I am the only member in this House to have undergone that scrutiny to this extent and I am the only member in this House who can stand up with a certificate of fitness to be here.


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