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Electoral law breaches, whistleblowers, corruption and fraud: Te Pāti Māori under scrutiny over mounting allegations

Summarised by Centrist

Political analyst Dr Bryce Edwards has called for a government investigation regarding allegations of: “Illegal and corrupt practices… in the way that Te Pati Māori (TPM) has been running election campaigns, abusing their use of state-funded processes.”

Edwards details evidence of collusion between the Waipareira Trust and Te Pati Māori, both headed by former Labour minister John Tamihere with several investigations at varying levels now under way. These include the Electoral Commission, the Police, Statistics New Zealand, Health New Zealand and others. 

Reports allege census forms collected by Manurewa Marae staff were photocopied, and personal details sent to the Waipareira Trust. It is believed that this information was used to target Māori electorate voters to help the party win the Tāmaki Makaurau seat in 2023.  

Additionally, marae staff allegedly included voter enrolment forms with the Census to switch voters from the general to the Māori roll. Participants were incentivised with gifts for doing so.

Other reports allege  Tamihere’s organisations have also used COVID vaccination data to marshall votes for TPM. 

Edwards writes that: 

“Tamihere is inclined to say such scrutiny is ‘racist’ and that the rules about donations and political integrity are culturally biased. Yet there now seems to be enough evidence of a problem that an independent and trusted investigator needs to look into everything involving the finances and electoral practices of John Tamihere. The leading candidates should be the Serious Fraud Office or Office of the Auditor-General.”

Editor’s note: TPM MP Takutai Tarsh Kemp was also the chief executive of Manurewa Marae at the time. Additionally, Philip Crump aka Thomas Cranmer notes that many people are wondering why Charities Services isn’t being tougher on Waipareira and Tamihere (see here) given the Trust’s inappropriate loans to TPM. 

He notes that the head of its three-person Registration Board, Gwendoline Keel, is a lawyer, general counsel for Waikato-Tainui, and a Labour Party candidate for Port Waikato.

Read more over at Democracy Project here and here

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